If your teen has been:
- On edge
- Restless; or
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Having unusual or unexplained outbursts;
your teen may be suffering from anxiety.
Today’s teens are feeling the pressure to make high grades, tackle multiple AP courses, participate in multiple extra-circular activities, achieve high test scores, etc. There is certainly nothing wrong with our teens setting high standards for themselves. However, when you see the above emotional changes, especially if your teen becomes very upset over grades which are lower than anticipated or upset over small mistakes, it may be time to seek help. Teens can quickly cross the line between having high standards and becoming perfectionistic. The idea of attempting to be perfect actually has the opposite effect on teens. Perfectionistic behavior is fueled by anxiety and can become crippling.
Perfectionistic thinking can cause:
- Procrastination and inability to complete tasks
- Inability to participate in class due to fear of answering incorrectly
- Anxious thoughts which interfere with performance in sports and other extra circulars
Of course, these experiences fuel further and more severe anxious thoughts.
If you teen becomes very emotional about slight mistakes or missed expectations, or is constantly irritable or on edge, it may be time to seek help from a licensed counselor.