Anxiety in Teens Can be Tough to Spot!
Anxiety is something that all teens face. It’s the body’s natural response to learning how to deal with the stresses of daily life. But how do you know if the anxiety your teen is dealing with is more than just growing pains?
When anxiety becomes ever-present for teenagers and interferes with their daily lives, you may be looking at an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders in teens are not uncommon. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 32 percent of people aged 13 to 18 suffer from an anxiety disorder.
However, when it comes to an anxiety disorder in teens, the symptoms can be challenging to spot for two main reasons:
- teens often will keep their feelings hidden, and
- teenage anxiety symptoms can differ from adult symptoms.
That’s why it’s vital to know the symptoms and what to do about them.
Call us to Learn More about Anxiety Treatments at Synapse Hawaii.
What Causes Anxiety in Teens?
The constant pressure to perform and exceed expectations, combined with ever-present social media, topped by a pandemic — it’s no wonder things are tough for today’s teenagers! Yet, these are not the only things contributing to teenage anxiety. Here are a few more potential causes:
- Genetics: A family history of mood or anxiety disorders can mean a higher risk for teen anxiety disorder.
- Environment: Teens’ home, school, and social environments can affect their mental health. Environmental issues can include bullying, family issues like divorce, abuse or neglect, and being bullied.
- Differences in the brain: Teenagers’ brains are structurally different from adults’ brains. Studies show that teenagers’ brain circuits can change in response to danger and rewards. Also, chemical differences in the brain can affect the regulation of moods.
- Hormonal changes: Puberty can cause teens to undergo hormonal changes that affect their mood. They also have to deal with the stresses of changing bodies, making them feel different from their peers.
While the above are not all the potential causes of teen anxiety, they’re a good starting point. But whatever the reason, the most important thing is to recognize the signs when they appear.
Signs and Symptoms of Teen Anxiety
Teens experience various physical and emotional changes as they grow, so it can be hard to spot an anxiety disorder. Here are a few signs to look for:
- Subtle emotional changes, such as feeling on edge, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and restlessness.
- Social changes, like avoiding extracurricular activities, isolating from friends, or spending more time alone.
- Physical changes that start to become a pattern, such as frequent headaches, gastrointestinal problems, excessive fatigue, or unexplained aches and pains.
- Sleep issues, like having trouble falling or staying asleep, frequent nightmares, or not feeling rested after adequate sleep.
- School problems, such as poor school performance, difficulty concentrating on homework assignments, and significant downward jumps in grades.
Additionally, while not all teens experience panic attacks, it’s essential to know the symptoms: rapid heartbeat, sweating and trembling, dizziness, upset stomach, chest pain, numbness or tingling in arms and legs. They can also express feeling like they’re going crazy or dying.
Your teen may experience any of these symptoms from time to time. But if the changes in behavior last for weeks or months, they may be symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
Treatment for Anxiety in Teens
If you feel your teen may have an anxiety disorder, the first thing to do is see a licensed mental health practitioner for an evaluation. Anxiety is treatable, and getting an accurate diagnosis is vital to ensure proper treatment. Without treatment, anxiety can worsen and extend well into adulthood.
Here at Synapse Hawaii, we offer a new approach to treating anxiety disorders. This non-invasive, drug-free treatment is called MeRT or Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy. Through the use of advanced diagnostics and technology, we can treat even the most severe anxiety symptoms with MeRT. It’s gentle, effective, and can achieve lasting results. Plus, MeRT can be used with other treatments and therapies.
In essence, MeRT combines comprehensive diagnostic testing using a qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram) with TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). The EEG can show an imbalance in brainwave activity. Then, once we identify that imbalance, we can then strengthen the brainwave activity with targeted TMS. What makes MeRT unique is that the EEG results help us to guide treatment exactly where it’s needed to ensure the best possible results. That’s why MeRT has been successfully used to treat anxiety, particularly when medications haven’t helped or have caused complex side effects.
Our Medical Director: Gregory K. Yim, MD, Pediatric Neurologist
Dr. Yim has long been a champion of children’s health and wellness. He has been practicing Pediatric Neurology and Pediatrics for over two decades since 1994. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, certified with Special Qualification in Child Neurology. Dr. Yim is also a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and an Associate Clinical Professor at the Department of Pediatrics, University of the Hawaii School of Medicine.
Are you having issues with your child getting into trouble at school? Or do school administrators ask you if you’ve had an assessment of your child? Let me tell you, Dr. Yim and his staff saved our family! If we didn’t stumble on Synapse, we would still be receiving daily behavior updates, with no clue what to do. Going through the therapy has been a game changer! Rather than having to call my son 10 times before I get a response, he now answers by the first time. This has truly been life changing and a blessing. Thank you Dr. Yim, Audrey, Hope, Mel, and Shirley! You guys are miracle workers!! Thanks!” – Synapse parent
Interested, but not sure?
Talk with our New Patient Coordinator
Living with anxiety can be incredibly difficult, particularly during the teen years. But there is hope with MeRT. However, you may not be certain whether this is the right treatment for your teenager’s anxiety symptoms.
Our New Patient Coordinator understands. And it doesn’t cost a thing to call her and talk. She’ll listen to your concerns and answer all your questions. She can also explain the process and protocols, costs, possible insurance benefits, and any other details you want to know.
There are no obligations, and she will take the time you need to know whether you should take the next steps.
Call Our New Patient Coordinator to Learn More.
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