Teens & High Functioning Anxiety: What It Is, How to Spot It, & What to Do
If you're the parent of a teenager, there's a good chance you've noticed some changes in your child over the past year or so. Your once-easygoing teen may now seem tense and irritable, always worried about school or their social life.
While all teenagers go through phases of angst and stress, your teen may be experiencing high functioning teen anxiety. Teens with high functioning anxiety might seem like they have it all together on the surface, but inside they struggle with intense worry and fear.
Covid-19 has taken a toll on everyone, but especially on teenagers. The anxiety and stress of the pandemic have led to a rise in high functioning anxiety among teens.
Factors Making High Functioning Teen Anxiety Difficult to Spot
Parents of teenagers often have a lot on their plate. There's a lot to keep track of, from managing after-school activities to dealing with mood swings. So, it's no surprise that many parents may overlook the signs of anxiety in their teens.
High-functioning teen anxiety is one form of anxiety that can be particularly difficult to spot. After all, anxiety is often seen as just another teenage emotion. But what many parents may not realize is that anxiety can be more than just nerves or jitters.
That's because symptoms of high-functioning teen anxiety can appear un-remarkable at face value. For example:
A teen with high-functioning anxiety may seem Type A and overachieving. In school, this may manifest as a need to get straight A's or complete all assignments perfectly. They may have a large group of friends, but beneath the surface, they may be struggling with chronic worry and fearfulness.
As a result, they may experience symptoms like:
Fear of failure, and
Socially, it may show up as worrying about what others think of them or avoiding social situations altogether. In addition, the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of inadequacy and loneliness.
The teenage years can be difficult for both parents and teens. If you are a parent with a struggling teen, check in with them. They may not talk about their anxiety as they may not fully understand what they are experiencing.
They may also feel that they are being, or that people may perceive them as simply being, a "dramatic teenager". Fears that their feelings may be dismissed as a result prevent some teens from talking about teen anxiety.
You may also consider having them speak to a school counselor or an experienced teen therapist. In addition, their teachers may be able to provide some insight into how your teen is behaving at school. It is important to remember that there is help available, and research shows that early intervention can assist with long-term stability.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Experienced Teen Therapists & Young Adult Counselors in Katy, Tx
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, many of the teens we work with experience teen anxiety. Whether it is generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, or high functioning anxiety, it is one of the more common struggles we work with. And there are many effective approaches in helping teens overcome teen anxiety.
Our therapists also provide support for parents. Teenagers will learn skills in therapy that parents can help their teen implement in between sessions.
The Katy, TX location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling is easy to get to and is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10.
If you are ready to start teen counseling or young adult therapy, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Speak with our therapists experienced in teen counseling
Get the support that you and your teen may need during a difficult time
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We provide teen therapy, counseling for young adults, family therapy, and marriage counseling or couples therapy.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Support Group for Parents
Parents of teenagers and young adults face unique challenges. The "Parents Supporting Parent's" group at Katy Teen & Family Counseling provides a place where parents can meet with other parents of teenagers and young adults who may be struggling.
Parents will walk away from this group with a greater feeling of support, actionable skills, and even friendships.
About the Author
Jheri Walters is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Council Approved Supervisor (LCSW-S). Jheri has been providing teen therapy, young adult counseling, and family therapy since 2009.
She enjoys using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to their effectiveness in improving symptoms associated with ADHD/ADD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma, PTSD, and other challenges.
Read Jheri's full bio here & to schedule an appointment, feel free to use one of the options below.
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