Counseling Teen Anxiety Disorders Phoenix, Arcadia, Scottsdale, Cave Creek Arizona


Kevin Love an NBA All Star and NBA record holder for Rebounds who now plays on the Cleveland Cavaliers came out to talk about anxiety, panic attacks and mental health. He states he never spoke about mental health issues because he was ashamed about it , however, he states that everyone has challenges and pain this is true. We all have struggles and highs and lows and life is filled with change and loss and it is healthy to learn how to cope with challenges . It is unhealthy to suppress, repress, stuff, avoid, and deny our emotions and pain an bury them in : video games, food, drugs, alcohol, work etc. This is where unhealthy habits are formed. Healthy emotions are dealing with emotions each day.

Kevin Love talked about his panic attacks and how it impacted him in a negative way. There are many times of anxiety: social anxiety, generalized anxiety, performance anxiety, separation anxiety, PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and more. The great news is there many skills that can be learned to manage anxiety and live a happy, calm, and peaceful life as well as meet goals you desire to achieve.


Almost 20 Percent of adults in the USA have anxiety so do not feel alone it is becoming more and more common in our stressful society in the USA. Many teens would like to avoid or not acknowledge their anxiety and this is not the solution. The more the teen ignores the more they find that it is interrupting many areas of life.

The more children and teens open up about: anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, the more we can create strategies and coping mechanisms to manage or eliminate the anxious symptoms.

There are many techniques and tools your child can learn to empower him or herself and feel confident and peaceful and be able to do the things he or she wants to do in life.

There are many factors that can contribute to anxiety or anxiety disorders: obsessive compulsive disorders, Panic disorders, social anxiety, Phobias, general anxiety, Panic attacks, PTSD Post traumatic stress disorders and more.

It is important to look at many elements in an individuals life: medications, factors during inception and birth, environmental factors, Drugs, marijuana, alcohol, Stressors, Trauma from the past ( emotional, physical, mental), sleep, diet, daily habits, negative cognitions daily, genetics in the family from Mom and Dad as well as other family members and their traumas as well.


Many practitioners give meds without addressing the root causes of the anxiety. It is important to look at all the above and more in order to create the best plan to reduce anxiety. I have worked with anxiety disorders for over 15 years and have seen a combination of many elements that exacerbate anxiety disorders. It is vital to look at all the above areas in order to really manage your child’s anxiety or your anxiety as best as possible. Not looking at sleep for example and treating the disorder without a change in sleep will most likely not be very successful since sleep is an important element in mood disorders.

Brain experts believe a diet that is heavy in inflammation food consumption and low in healthy fats affects the risk of obtaining anxiety or anxiety disorders. Anxiety is extremely high in those with high sensitivity to gluten.

Medication is used to treat ADHD , however, research shows that it also leads to anxiety disorders, as well as other symptoms including but not limited to addiction.

There are many tools an anxiety client can learn in order to manage an anxiety disorder be it panic attacks, phobias, generalized anxiety, PTSD, etc.

Some of the research based tools in counseling psychology to manage anxiety are: EMDR, DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Progressive Relaxation, VMBR, Exposure therapy, and mindfulness.

Child anxiety is stressful and painful for families. Activities that once were enjoyable are avoided and parents hear complaints of stomach problems, and various aches and pains, headaches and more. Learning ways to cope with anxiety is important. It is a fine balancing act however avoiding school and avoiding sleeping alone and avoiding new things is not creating a balance for your child or teenager. Forcing a child may be overwhelming and can be a failed approach as well. It is important that parents understand that anxiety can be debilitating and your child may no be manipulating and may not be lazy.

Many children that have behavioral issues like oppositional defiance or conduct disorders also have underlying anxiety that they do not know how to handle or identify. Learning skills to manage anxiety is vital to you child’s success socially as well as academically and behaviorally and emotionally. Most children can not articulate what is going on inside their bodies and minds. They must learn skills and tools to address their anxiety.

Some children can manifest itself in different ways. One way might be to avoid situations that are uncomfortable. Another way might be to escape the situation and this can be seen or perceived as oppositional or defiant when it is really fear based. Behavioral dysregulation is common with children and teens that have anxiety disorders: panic attacks, phobia, social anxiety, PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorders , obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders.

Children that display temper tantrums, behavioral problems at school, throw things at school, throw themselves down and cry and have full blown outburst may have a profound anxiety disorder however this needs to be assessed by a professional. Anxiety disorders need to be assessed and treated by a professional in mental health care.

Academic pressure and demands in the classroom can trigger anxiety and this will look like disruptive behaviors. The child may feel overwhelmed and anxious and not be able to cope with the teachers request or the assignment. The child might be intelligent however he or she may have a learning challenge or trouble with the task and feel overwhelmed hence unable to do the task and act out behaviorally.

Most teachers are not trained in identifying anxiety disorders and a child or teenager typically will end up in suspension or in the Principals office being punished. This does not address the underlying issue that may be an anxiety disorder.

A child that is diagnosed with ADHD may have an anxiety disorder instead that looks like: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention however this needs to be evaluated by a professional. A lot of times individuals jump to ADHD diagnosis when really the child or teen is suffering with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder may be primary and for example ADHD is secondary or it may be the other way around. There are a number of other diagnosis as well that may be co-occuring with a child or teens anxiety.

It is important to find a professional that has daily experience working with anxiety and children and teens . Children and teens can learn tools and skills to manage and cope with anxiety and other disorders. Parents can learn skills as well to help create success and balance in your child’s life. David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS has over 15 years experience working with families and youth treating anxiety disorders. has testimonials and more information.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.