From the School Counsellor

Well-Being for Teens

Bethany College Counsellor – Katerina Hatzikonstantis

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SUBTLE SIGNS YOU NEED TO WATCH FOR IN YOUR TEEN

By Benjamin Conolly – The Catholic Weekly

Extreme fear? Poor memory? Avoiding difficult situations? Can’t sleep? Always nervous? You might have something to worry about.

Though no one likes to think about their child suffering from any sort of mental health issue, the reality is that depression and anxiety is simply a horrible reality for a growing number of our kids right across Australia. According to Beyond Blue, 1 in 7 young people aged 4 to 17 years’ experience a mental health condition in any given year, and young people are statistically less likely than any other age group to seek professional help. The silent bully. According to Beyond Blue, 1 in 7 young people aged 4 to 17 years, experience a mental health condition in any given year. Tie that in with incredible new figures from Kids Helpline revealing a 60 per cent increase in reported cases of cyber bullying between 2018 and 2019, and the full picture starts to take shape.

One of the most troubling health problems among young people is anxiety. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. Beyond Blue says that on average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. In a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety.

IN A 12-MONTH PERIOD, OVER TWO MILLION AUSTRALIANS EXPERIENCE ANXIETY.

 Though sometimes a little stress can be beneficial, like when there is danger or a looming deadline, when it crosses the line into anxiety it can be really damaging. This is especially true for teens who may not have the coping skills yet to deal with it. That’s where parents come in.

Annie Wylie of Reach Out Australia says that spotting anxiety in your teen and taking action straight away can empower your teen to handle their anxiety later in life and stop anxiety in its tracks so that it doesn’t become an even bigger issue. Here are Annie’s tips on what to watch for and how to handle anxiety in your teen.

The symptoms of anxiety can look different for everybody. However, common signs and symptoms to look out for in your child are:

Can anxiety be physical too?

Emotions can rear their head physically as well as mentally. Sometimes people will be experiencing physical symptoms and be at a loss to what is causing them. So if you notice your teen experiencing any of these things or they complain to you about them it could be a sign of anxiety.

Physical symptoms that may accompany anxiety include:

my teen is feeling anxious, now what?

Ok so you’ve ticked off a couple of the symptoms above and you’re worried that your teen is anxious. Firstly, a big well done for noticing that something is up and for taking the first step to support your teen. Secondly, there is plenty that you can do to suit all different situations so have a read and pick a few things that might work for you and your kid.

Breathing

It’s easy to discount the power of breathing exercises as it seems so simple – but the evidence is in.

FOR SOME PEOPLE ANXIETY FEELS REALLY PHYSICAL

For some people anxiety feels really physical. They might feel on the verge of a panic attack, or just generally tight chested and worked up. Controlled breathing can give you immediate relief.

Why not try this breathing technique with your teen the next time they’re feeling anxious. It can feel like a bit less of a big deal if you’re doing it with them.

Other coping strategies for anxiety

With breathing under control, there are other things that your child can do to manage their anxiety.

A lot of parents wonder when it’s time to go see a GP. Mum of 4 Lisa was pretty worried about taking her 14 year old daughter, who was refusing to go to school, to see a professional. She didn’t know how they would help and thought she would be judged as a mother. But in the end it was a really good experience for everybody.

SHE DIDN’T KNOW HOW THEY WOULD HELP AND THOUGHT SHE WOULD BE JUDGED AS A MOTHER… IN THE END IT WAS A REALLY GOOD EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYBODY.

After seeing a GP and then a psychologist, her daughter can now tell when her anxiety is getting worse and speaks up about it. Lisa said “I had to remind myself that if I wasn’t a good parent, we wouldn’t be there. My job was to recognise that she needed some sort of help and to reach out to someone, so I was being a good parent, that’s what a good parent does.”

Like Lisa did, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice when you, or your child, notice that something is wrong.

A GP can help with mental health issues by:

 

Anxiety affects different people in different ways. It doesn’t have to be lifelong though for some people it will be. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t define your teenager and with the right support from you and others they can manage it.

https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/the-subtle-signs-you-need-to-watch-for-in-your-teen/

 

 

 

 

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