Although you’re not 100% sure, you might suspect that your teen is anxious.
Lately, your child has been a little “off.” They seem moodier and hole up in their room most of the time.
On the one hand, you understand this is normal teenage behavior. On the other hand, you worry that a more significant issue is at play, especially considering all the extra stress teenagers have had over the last year and a half dealing with COVID-19 and all the isolating changes it created in their lives.
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Teen anxiety is on the rise, and parents are diligently working to spot the signs.
If you’re concerned that your teen is struggling with anxiety, take a look at these five most misinterpreted symptoms.
1. Outbursts of Anger
One mistaken anxiety symptom, and possibly the most common, is anger.
Perhaps your teen is getting angry quickly and for what seems like trivial reasons. And instead of this behavior being a fluke, it’s become a frequent pattern.
Pay close attention to the intensity of the anger, as well. This emotion isn’t some low-level grumbling or frustration. Instead, these are real outbursts, with screaming and yelling. They might even throw objects or punch a hole in the wall. Though it’s not necessarily because they want to destroy the wall.
Often, wall-punching occurs because your teen has so much energy and emotion they don’t know where to put it. So, they physically release that energy the only way they know how—hitting something, such as a wall.
2. Being Unnecessarily Rude
Often, it might seem as though your teen is being rude and with no justifiable reason. In other words, they’re acting like a jerk.
Perhaps your teenager makes underhanded comments to other family members. Or, they talk back to you in the middle of a conversation.
It’s these little moments that are even more frustrating than the big blowups. They make it very tricky to sense any consistency. Remember, those rude comments are meant to push people away and keep them from learning what’s truly going on—even when your teen doesn’t realize it.
3. When Your Teen Ignores You
Your teen might also be struggling with anxiety if they ignore you. Just like with rudeness or anger, it’s a tool to keep others at arm’s length.
At the moment, of course, you might not realize this is happening. Instead, when your teen ignores a request, you get frustrated. An argument ensues, and next thing you know the situation has escalated to flood your lives with negativity.
4. Problems at School Due to Anxiety Issues
Another misinterpreted symptom of anxiety is when problems occur at school. These issues could be behavioral or academic.
For your teen, it’s not necessarily because they want to get into trouble. The reason why they’re having trouble at school could be they’re struggling with anxiety. They might find it hard to concentrate on school work. Or, their interactions with other students and teachers are strained.
Also, as problems keep piling up, it feels as if the whole world is against them. When, in reality, the real source of the issue lies within themselves.
5. An Obsessive Use of Social Media
Plenty of articles circulate concerning teens and social media use. Many parents see their teens on their phones more than off their phones. But there’s often more to the situation than you might realize.
Since social media use is so widespread in our society in general, it has become another place where their friends are spending their time. They are often using social media to stay connected to their friends while searching for support and a sense of belonging.
Teen Therapy Columbus Ohio
If you’ve been noticing your teen behaving differently, there are ways you can begin to help. Talk to them. Approach them from a place of caring, understanding, and respect. Listen to them and show genuine interest in their concerns. The only way you’ll know for sure if your teen is anxious is to start the conversation with them.
If you learn that your teen is struggling with anxiety symptoms, it may be time for teen therapy. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help from an anxiety therapist who has been trained to help adolescents and teens. If you decide you’re in need of teen therapy Columbus Ohio from a high quality counseling practice, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today.