Rachel Dubrow, LCSW
Are you missing the signs of anxiety in your teen son?
You may have heard that one of the parenting rules of having a teen is to give them space ― lots of space (and privacy). While that may be great in theory, we know that it doesn't help you figure out if your teen son is doing what is typical or something to be concerned about.
This is especially true for teens with anxiety. Anxiety in teenage boys often doesn't look the way you might expect anxiety to look from the outside.
Here is a short checklist of things to look out for:
Complaints of stomach aches or headaches somewhat regularly.
We know that anxiety manifests itself physically and shows up often in complaints of one or both of these. We recommend a medical workup if this is becoming somewhat routine to rule out anything medical. If you're given the all clear, it's time to see a therapist.
Anxiety can make it hard to focus. So, if your teen seems to be struggling to concentrate, it might be a sign of anxiety.
Being extremely sensitive to criticism.
This can be tough to figure out since teenagers are often self conscious in general. Try to see if there's a pattern or switch that's happened over a period of time. This can help you figure out if anxiety is at play here.
Again, this is tough because being a teenager means that hormones are still leveling out. If your teen is more irritable than usual for 2 weeks or more, it's time to see a therapist.
If your teen son is having recurring fears of anything at all, see a therapist for an evaluation. This is the time when work in therapy can be done so that this doesn't become a long standing issue in college and beyond.
Of course, if you have other concerns about your teen son that aren't listed above or just want to learn more about how therapy can help, contact us. We're here to help!