Pinpointing the Source of Teen Anxiety
Marie can’t put her finger on why she feels anxious. She knows it began sometime around middle school when her family moved to a new town and she had to merge into a new school system. That would be an anxious time for any adolescent, but in Marie’s case it didn’t ease after a reasonable amount of time.
“There was nothing particularly horrible about my new middle school,” she says. “I did get bullied a little on the playground by a couple of bigger girls who pushed me around some, but luckily a teacher witnessed that and put a stop to it.”
Now in her late teens, Marie is especially small in stature and diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – and is often ready to react fearfully to the unknown. Her home life is reasonably secure, although her father’s career as an airline pilot frequently keeps him away for days at a time. Her mother is home full time and she has a good relationship with her two younger siblings.
Still – she feels like she lives her life in a state of constant fearful anxiety and cannot seem to put her finger on the exact reason why. It affects her school work (she is now in college) as well as her friendships (she feels she is perceived as clingy and needy).
“We’re seeing more and more cases of anxiety in teens and young adults,” says Matthew Hunt, MA, MFT, lead counselor at Counseling on Demand (COD). “It’s not just a generation gap – our society is truly more complex and the pressures are multiplying exponentially, and our young people are feeling it.”
Often parents might feel a pressure to medicate their children, especially as acceptance of pharmaceutical therapy for disorders like ADHD becomes more commonplace. And while there may indeed be a medical component to treatment, Hunt suggests there may be a useful place for talk therapy as well.
“Sometimes it’s extremely helpful for people to have that ‘disinterested third party’ to whom they can speak freely,” he says. “They’ll get things off their chests they would otherwise be reluctant to confess to someone they knew, for fear it would change the relationship.”
It is often the case that a service offered by COD is an acceptable form of counseling to young people and adults who have an extremely high comfort level with the social use of technology. Often they welcome the opportunity to conveniently access a counselor in the privacy of their room or personal space
If you or a young adult you know might benefit from the type of face-to-face online counseling provided by COD, contact us today about a possible meeting. The first consultation is completely free of charge because we want to make sure this is the right fit for you and your situation.
It’s good to talk things through – COD may be able to help.