Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Anxiety in the Teenage years

From me to you; if this is relevant for someone you know, pass it on! :)
For more information on the management of anxiety from a behavioural perspective, please reach me! Warm Regards.
Adolescence has become synonymous with self-invention, drug and alcohol experimentation and increased rates of anxiety (Pinel, 2012). On the cusp of child and adult, adolescence is about developing perspectives and testing limits. Culturally, angst and uncertainty have always gone hand in hand with adolescence, but at some point normal teenage angst can develop into a generalized anxiety disorder and require treatment. When anxiety impacts every aspect of a teenager’s life, it crosses the threshold from normal teenage insecurities, to social anxiety disorder.
However it manifests, anxiety is difficult to overcome without the right support system; anxiety has biological roots that need to be strategically considered (Pinel, 2012). Positive perceptions of self should be targeted proactively to avoid eating disorders, and other manifestations of anxious thought patterns. Coping strategies are essential; during adolescent experimentation can result in exposure to risky behaviour like sexual activity, self-harm, or smoking. Exposure paired with anxiety can lead to addiction.
 Are anxious adolescents crying out for parental attention? In an interview with Kate Fillion (2010), genetics specialist Dr. Leonard Sax says the answer is no. He suggests that most teenage cutters (like most users, and anorexics), are secretive and systematic. Most teenagers are trying not to get caught. Dr. Sax notes that in adolescence pressure is high; teens go to drastic measures to create identities with physical appearance and social status. Looking to establish identity, many adolescents fall into patterns of anorexia and bulimia, cigarette smoking, or other unhealthy habits.

Fillion, K. (2010, May 3). Inside the dangerously empty lives of teenage girls impressing each
Pinel, J.P. (2012). Basics of biopsychology. Boston: Pearson

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