Archive for the 'Teen Anxiety' Category

Counseling Teen Panic Anxiety Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Arizona

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

There are many uncomfortable sensations one can feel in your body during panic. Some individuals feel dizzy and disconnected from reality. These sensations in your body are due to over breathing. When faced with a threat that is imagined our bodies take in more oxygen to run from the alleged danger. many people feel cold hands or  tingly hands.  This may be due to blood flow being redirected from your hands and feet to to muscles that are important for survival. Some people feel blurry vision. Individuals pupils can dilate to perceive imagined or real danger. This makes your vision extra sensitive in your field of vision. Some people feel difficulty concentrating and this is because there is less blood flow to your head and more blood flow going to muscles. Many people feel increases in sweating. Sweating cools off your body so you don’t overheat. Many feel upset stomachs or stomach aches. Some people feel nauseated  due to blood flow being directed to other muscles in your body as well. Many people feel difficulty breathing. Taking in so much oxygen and breathing out a lot of CO2 can make one feel overwhelmed. Ones heart may begin racing, your heart beats faster to supply more oxygen to your vital organs. Some people feel very shaky. The hormones epinephrine and adrenaline get released because you feel like our are in danger. Adrenaline directs blood to your muscles to create strength and the increase blood flow to muscles can make you feel off balance.

There are many skills to help manage panic and anxiety. Some research based techniques are : cognitive behavioral therapy, Exposure Therapy, Mindfulness therapy, Progressive relaxation, VMBR Visual Motor behavior rehearsal.

There are many reasons that are unique to each teen in relation to anxiety. Genetics is always unique and has an impact on anxiety so biologically you come into the world with genes that may be more or less prone to anxiety disorders. Your environment plays a huge role on stress and anxiety and how you cope with it. Some families have parents that teach their children skills to manage stress at a young age and some do not. Some families have a mixed approach with each parent doing their own parenting skills to address anxiety and stress. So the biggest factors in anxiety disorders are : Genetics, Life experiences, how we group up in our families , and environmental influences.

Anxiety disorders in teens can become worse at times with: side effect of a medication, emotional health issues, Alcohol or substance use or dependence, Marijuana use or dependence, Trauma ( emotional, mental, or physical ), long term stress, a family history of anxiety and or depression, and chemical imbalances in the brain.

 

Anxiety can be triggered by any physical pain in your body, stressful events ( school, moving, bullying etc), work stress issues, school anxiety and stress in school with peers or academics, illness and health issues, relationship issues with friends or family or others.

There are many evidence based techniques that are used in teen counseling and psychotherapy to help a teen manage his anxiety. One very powerful technique that has been around over 60 years is CBT Cognitive behavioral Therapy and it is very powerful. Teens can learn CBT and use CBT skill at home or wherever they are and this helps them gain strength in that they can control and manage their anxiety. I could go on about how great CBT therapy, however, I am going to give you a very brief synopsis for you. CBT looks at thoughts that are unhealthy, distorted , and not supported by facts. CBT then identifies feelings associated with these unhealthy thoughts. CBT then helps the client identify why these thought are distorted and allows the client to change the thought to a healthier more accurate thought. It is through theses exercises awe are able to see a huge reduction in anxiety and stress and well as other emotions the are not working for us at the time.

There is another exercise called VMBR that helps client’s bring in all senses: hearing , feeling, seeing, smell, and taste and allows the client to create a short video movie of themselves showing them confident, safe, tranquil and able to perform said task or overcome the anxiety that is getting in their way. It could be of taking a test at school or kicking a field goal, or going to school, or meeting a girlfriend, or a job interview.

Progressive Relaxation techniques tied in with diaphragmatic breathing techniques are an excellent evidence based skill that can be learned and used at home or out in the world. Research shows that when muscles are relaxed the body will follow and I believe everyone should use progressive relaxation for anxiety and stress management.

Mindfullness is an exercise that helps one learn to stay in the moment and not get caught up in the past or caught up in future thoughts. Mindfulness helps one notice thoughts like they are passing through like a cloud as well as feelings and does not allow the thought or feeling to rule ones day. Acceptance of self and learning self compassion and empathy as well as non criticisms or non judgment is important as well. Setting boundaries and effective communication skills is important to build healthier and more fulfilling relationships. Emotional regulation skills are helpful in managing ones anxiety before it builds and gets bigger for oneself.

Lifeworksaz.com has been working with youth and families for over 18 years in Phoenix AZ and Valleywide. David Abrams MAPC, LPC has a great deal of experience working with anxiety issues. You can read more about him at www.lifeworks.com and read testimonials as well.

Child Counseling Anxiety in Phoenix Arizona and Scottsdale

Monday, November 5th, 2018

 

According to a recent report released by Researchers, anxiety affects 30 percent of children and adolescents at some point in their lives.

The institute reports a twenty percent increase in anxiety among young people over the last Ten years. Mental Health reports show hat of those who have anxiety, Ten percent percent experience severe impairment as a result of it. This may include poor academics, truancy, poor interpersonal relationships, poor communication skills with family members, substamce abuse, alcohol abuse, vaping, video game addiction etc. Not joining organizations or attending social gathering and much much more.

A growing number of children under 10 are living with anxiety, but several factors keep many from receiving treatment .One in five children ages 3 through 17 about 15 million have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year. But only fifteen percent of them get diagnosed or receive professional counseling services or medical care.

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.

Children and adolescents can learn a variety of skills to help with their anxiety: for example: cognitive behavioral techniques, Dialectical Behavioral techniques, stress management techniques, anger management skills, healthy life skills, health social skills, healthy communication skills, skills to build self, skills to improve family relationships and more

Children and teens will learn skills and coping skills to empower themselves when anxiety arises so they can manage their anxiety and live happy, fulfilled, and successful lives.

You can go to www.lifeworksaz.com and read testimonials as well as set up an appointment through the web site: www.lifeworksaz.com

 

Teen Anxiety Counseling Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Az

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

There are many reasons that are unique to each teen in relation to anxiety. Genetics is always unique and has an impact on anxiety so biologically you come into the world with genes that may be more or less prone to anxiety disorders. Your environment plays a huge role on stress and anxiety and how you cope with it. Some families have parents that teach their children skills to manage stress at a young age and some do not. Some families have a mixed approach with each parent doing their own parenting skills to address anxiety and stress. So the biggest factors in anxiety disorders are : Genetics, Life experiences, how we group up in our families , and environmental influences.

Anxiety disorders in teens can become worse at times with: side effect of a medication, emotional health issues, Alcohol or substance use or dependence, Marijuana use or dependence, Trauma ( emotional, mental, or physical ), long term stress, a family history of anxiety and or depression, and chemical imbalances in the brain.

 

Anxiety can be triggered by any physical pain in your body, stressful events ( school, moving, bullying etc), work stress issues, school anxiety and stress in school with peers or academics, illness and health issues, relationship issues with friends or family or others.

There are many evidence based techniques that are used in teen counseling and psychotherapy to help a teen manage his anxiety. One very powerful technique that has been around over 60 years is CBT Cognitive behavioral Therapy and it is very powerful. Teens can learn CBT and use CBT skill at home or wherever they are and this helps them gain strength in that they can control and manage their anxiety. I could go on about how great CBT therapy, however, I am going to give you a very brief synopsis for you. CBT looks at thoughts that are unhealthy, distorted , and not supported by facts. CBT then identifies feelings associated with these unhealthy thoughts. CBT then helps the client identify why these thought are distorted and allows the client to change the thought to a healthier more accurate thought. It is through theses exercises awe are able to see a huge reduction in anxiety and stress and well as other emotions the are not working for us at the time.

There is another exercise called VMBR that helps client’s bring in all senses: hearing , feeling, seeing, smell, and taste and allows the client to create a short video movie of themselves showing them confident, safe, tranquil and able to perform said task or overcome the anxiety that is getting in their way. It could be of taking a test at school or kicking a field goal, or going to school, or meeting a girlfriend, or a job interview.

Progressive Relaxation techniques tied in with diaphragmatic breathing techniques are an excellent evidence based skill that can be learned and used at home or out in the world. Research shows that when muscles are relaxed the body will follow and I believe everyone should use progressive relaxation for anxiety and stress management.

Mindfullness is an exercise that helps one learn to stay in the moment and not get caught up in the past or caught up in future thoughts. Mindfulness helps one notice thoughts like they are passing through like a cloud as well as feelings and does not allow the thought or feeling to rule ones day. Acceptance of self and learning self compassion and empathy as well as non criticisms or non judgment is important as well. Setting boundaries and effective communication skills is important to build healthier and more fulfilling relationships. Emotional regulation skills are helpful in managing ones anxiety before it builds and gets bigger for oneself.

Lifeworksaz.com has been working with youth and families for over 18 years in Phoenix AZ and Valleywide. David Abrams MAPC, LPC has a great deal of experience working with anxiety issues. You can read more about him at www.lifeworks.com and read testimonials as well.

Teens and Anxiety Disorders Common Phoenix Arizona

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Millions of American teens are suffering from chronic anxiety and anxiety disorders. One in Eight children and teens suffer from anxiety disorders.Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue In the United States. Anxiety disorders can take the form of : social anxiety , Panic Attacks, Phobias, General anxiety and more.

Over eighty percent of teens with an anxiety disorder were not getting treatment . Many times it was because parents were not aware that their teen or child was having a severe problem with an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can paralyze your child from attending school or interviewing from a job or going to family gatherings and much more. Lifeworksaz.com David Abrams MAPC teaches children and teens tools to overcome anxiety and manage it !

Many children report high levels of anxiety at school. Children as young as five self harm due to anxiety and stress related to school and academics. Many children do not know how to express their feelings and emotions end up turning into aggression, sadness, anger, tantrums, crying etc. It is vital to teach children to express emotions at a young age before it oozes into an imbalance.

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.

Many adolescent teens are feeling worthless, unhappy, inability to focus or concentrate.

Teens are reporting more problems sleeping and are not receiving adequate sleep.

Children and teens are slow to talk about their distress to parents and parents tend to be slow to respond once finding out their child or teen is suffering.

Parents are not to blame for a child’s mental health issues. Children can have excellent parenting and still suffer from mental health issues.

In colleges and universities throughout the United States the following research was done and this was the mental health results :

The American College Health Association surveyed 100,000 college students at 53 US campuses and found that 84 per cent of US students feel unable to cope, 79 per cent are exhausted, 60 per cent feel very sad and more than half are experiencing overwhelming anxiety.

Obviously teens and college students need to learn coping and stress management tools to address : school, peers, family, work, grades, social situations and much more.

Many teenagers and adolescents as well as college students fear failure and are fearful of their future and need a direction and support to reach their goals. Children as young as 10 are worried about finding a job in many homes and are stressed and anxious.

Cyberbullying and social media can be a stressor and many teens are concerned about their body image with such a huge emphasis on waif models being the norm when most adults know this is not reality. Technology does not create the bully or the poor body image it may magnify the problem. Removing all media may not solve the issue because it is the negative distorted and unhealthy thoughts inside your child or adolescents head that is feeding the negative behaviors and mood. Media can affect our moods however it is up to parents and children and teens to set limits on use and be able to turn it off and find a balance in other activities above and beyond social media and or video games and technology.

There are many things children and parents can do to create health and balance for their child and teen or college student. Finding a healthy balance is key to your youths success. Lifeworks AZ has worked with youth and families over fifteen years in: building self esteem, parenting tips, mood regulation, goal setting, anger management, healthy social skills, reaching goals, behavior modification for youth, autistic youth, highly gifted, learning disabled children and more.

It is important to find a professional that has daily experience working with 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. Lifeworksaz.com has testimonials and more information.

Teen Counseling for Anxiety Disorders

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Many children and teens, and adults are genetically prone to anxiety disorders and some are prone to anxiety disorders due to a combination of environmental factors and stress, pressures, peers, family issues and much more. There are many types of anxiety disorders such as: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorders, Phobias, PTSD, OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and more. Many children will isolate in their rooms and avoid activities due the discomfort of anxiety disorders. I have had children and teens and adults avoid : work, prom, family functions, attending great colleges and part of it is due to anxiety disorders. Many children and teen adolescents may also have negative thinking that feeds the anxiety and can feed a depressed mood. I can not tell you how many amazing people come into my office with  an infinite list of talents and strengths and still believe they are not capable or not able or not valuable or not loved. The child creates these thoughts many times on their own and it has nothing to do with environment although it could be the case in some situations. I have incredible adults that excel in their professions be it : Medicine, Law, Engineering, Sales, Real Estate, CEO’s and they as adults have a negative pattern of thought daily with no real reason to think or feel this way. They are full of tremendous talent. One of the skills learned for this is CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and  It has been used for Decades with evidence based results. This is just one skill that can be learned in my office and there are many more that are extremely helpful. It is important to have more than one approach because each person is unique and will respond in different manner to each modality used.

Teens are taught to keep in their emotions and boys are told not to cry. Stuffing emotions is extremely unhealthy and must be worked on and processed to create best outcomes.

Many children report high levels of anxiety at school. Children as young as five self harm due to anxiety and stress related to school and academics. Many children do not know how to express their feelings and emotions end up turning into aggression, sadness, anger, tantrums, crying etc. It is vital to teach children to express emotions at a young age before it oozes into an imbalance.

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.

 

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.

Approximately one in five university or college students has been diagnosed or treated with anxiety within the last twelve months. Many more are unaccounted for because they do not seek treatment or are improperly diagnosed, so the results could be even higher. Anxiety does not produce the same symptoms in all people. Some people actually experience anxiety attacks, including a feeling of panic, sweating, a rapid heart rate, and a sense of breathlessness. Many others may not have such overt symptoms. Many college students will likely to turn to behaviors that numb their thoughts — sexual activity, marijuana, weed, ganga, alcohol, drugs, sleeping all the time, or other habits which may affect their performance in school.

There’s an obvious stigma when it comes to men and mental health. In our culture expressing feelings is considered un-man like and “being a man” is connected  with being tough, it’s challenging for men to come forward and reveal they have a mental health condition like anxiety or depression and this is tragic.

There a number of anxiety reduction and management techniques that can be used for college students including: talk therapy and counseling, CBT skills, DBT skills, Exposure therapy, and more. Boys and men must be told it is ok to talk about their feelings: fears, anger, sadness and pain. This is the only way to begin the healing process.

Teens and Children

Many parents are beyond frustrated when their child refuses to go to school. Seeking help is important if this behavior of avoidance and defiance goes on for more than a day or so. One key for parents is not get into a power struggle or a negotiation with your child. A power struggle will only reinforce the undesired behaviors regarding school. Finding the heart of the issue is important. Is it academic struggles, is it bullying is it anxiety?

Anxiety in children in Arizona and the United States is one of the most common mental health disorders treated. However when children can not attend school, go to social activities, avoid interactions with people it now becomes an issue that needs to be addressed by a professional. Children may receive extra attention due to their fears from parents and this is due to the protective nature of parents,however, at some point it paralyzes the child and is not helpful anymore.

Parents that reassure their children when an anxious event arises may also be giving the message that their is real danger at school or at the grocery store and this reinforces avoidance behaviors from the child. Also allowing children to avoid events, school, “scary ” interactions will reinforce avoidance behaviors and this will not help your child’s anxiety it will get worse most likely.

Giving your children positive attention and rewards and praise when they do something brave can help your children tremendously. Praising your child, telling them you are proud of them , giving them a high five, smiling and more are huge behaviors parents can use to change anxious behaviors.

First give your child incentives for attending school. What will motivate your child? We all are motivated by something? It can be an activity with mom, it can be going for an ice cream, it can be extra time above and beyond regular bed time. It is always best to use rewards before moving into a consequence modality.

Let your child know that if he or she refuses to attend school they will not be able to : play video games, watch, Tv, watch netflix, and that they will have to sit at a desk and do homework. Also let them know if they stay home they will be given chores to do around the home. Obviously if your child is physically ill he would need to go see a Physician.

There a number of anxiety reduction and management techniques that can be used for your child including: talk therapy and counseling, CBT skills, DBT skills, Exposure therapy, play, and more. Lifeworks AZ has a lot of experience treating children with anxiety. Please see testimonials from parents at lifeworksaz.com.

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.

Many adolescent teens are feeling worthless, unhappy, inability to focus or concentrate.

Teens are reporting more problems sleeping and are not receiving adequate sleep.

Children and teens are slow to talk about their distress to parents and parents tend to be slow to respond once finding out their child or teen is suffering.

Parents are not to blame for a child’s mental health issues. Children can have excellent parenting and still suffer from mental health issues.

In colleges and universities throughout the United States the following research was done and this was the mental health results :

The American College Health Association surveyed 100,000 college students at 53 US campuses and found that 84 per cent of US students feel unable to cope, 79 per cent are exhausted, 60 per cent feel very sad and more than half are experiencing overwhelming anxiety.

Obviously teens and college students need to learn coping and stress management tools to address : school, peers, family, work, grades, social situations and much more.

Many teenagers and adolescents as well as college students fear failure and are fearful of their future and need a direction and support to reach their goals. Children as young as 10 are worried about finding a job in many homes and are stressed and anxious.

Cyberbullying and social media can be a stressor and many teens are concerned about their body image with such a huge emphasis on waif models being the norm when most adults know this is not reality. Technology does not create the bully or the poor body image it may magnify the problem. Removing all media may not solve the issue because it is the negative distorted and unhealthy thoughts inside your child or adolescents head that is feeding the negative behaviors and mood. Media can affect our moods however it is up to parents and children and teens to set limits on use and be able to turn it off and find a balance in other activities above and beyond social media and or video games and technology.

I have worked with children, teens and families over fifteen years at Lifeworksaz.com  and many times it is more than just one issues that a child is suffering with it could be: social, self esteem, bullying, relationship with family, and grades. All of these need to addressed so your child can find balance, happiness, and success in their life.

Children and teens have stress daily. Many children have anxiety and the real question is if your child is missing out on life’s opportunities due to one’s anxiety. Anxiety can be managed and there are many tools your child can learn to regulate stress, anxiety, as well as behaviors. There are a few causes of anxiety that we know: genetics are a big component, traumatic or upsetting events can trigger anxiety, how one was raised and past events that are impacting your child today.

One research and evidence based therapy I use that has great results is cognitive behavioral counseling or therapy. I work with each individual child and help them understand the connection between our thoughts, feelings, and our behavior that we act upon daily.Automatic unconscious thoughts that evolve can spark anxiety. Learning to become aware of unhealthy and twisted thoughts that do not have validity or truth is taught in a manner that is easy for your child to understand. As we learn to question these unhealthy thoughts we can then change them to healthy positive thoughts and overcome our anxiety.

There are two ways of looking at our thoughts. The first is to find out if our thoughts are accurate? The second way is to to see if the way we are thinking is leading us toward avoidance or toward a value system of ours. After your child learns to identify distorted thoughts he or she can learn alternative ways to help move through the anxiety and face the situation that is: scary, fearful etc.

There are a number of research based tools that I use including behavior modification, Play, Talk,Mindfulness, EMDR, exposure therapy, imagery, mindfulness and more that each child can learn and can feel safe and secure and at peace when anxiety arises. These tools can be used for: panic, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, phobias and more.

Facing your child’s fear head on is vital to help him or her feel confident and master anxiety. Learning these skills and more will help build self esteem and will free our chip up to embrace his or her life and create a happy and healthy life.

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

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

 

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. Lifeworksaz.com has testimonials and more information.

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