Anxiety in Teenage Boys
Written By: George Segar
Synergy eTherapy Intern
In a world of high expectations from parents, teachers, and even peers, it’s no surprise that teens are experiencing growing levels of anxiety.
Most people hear the word anxiety and automatically think panic attack, but the truth is every person experiences anxiety in one way or another. Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of nervousness or unease, and for most people anxiety comes before a big test or your first day at a new job, but for some it comes in more severe forms such as: generalized anxiety disorder(GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).
Anxiety in Male Teens
Symptoms of Anxiety
GAD is the most common anxiety disorder in teens and is characterized by excessive worry over everyday events. Although females are believed to be twice as likely to suffer from GAD it is just as severe from males to females. The best way to spot this form of anxiety in a teenager is to look for:
- constant fatigue,
- indecisiveness, and/or
- expecting the worst in a normal situation.
- or nausea.
Treating Anxiety in Male Teens
Because anxiety is more common in females and symptoms don’t always arise until the early teen years most male teens will go untreated for their anxiety disorders. Although anxiety is not necessarily something that can be “cured” as a parent you can help them treat it to a point where it can be controlled. For most teens the best way to help them is to show them that they have control over their fears. This does not mean you should tell them that they do not exist, their fears are real and should be acknowledged, but help them understand that there are steps they can take to avoid any negative effects.
One thing you can do to start is help them find a way to relieve stress; this may mean finding something for them to use as a distraction when they feel anxious or providing them with a hobby to relieve the tension.
Another thing that will help is to make a plan that can anticipate possible situations yet remain flexible so that they do not gain more anxiety if the plan doesn’t cover every situation. When doing this it’s also important to go over the effects that a situation will have and ensure the teenager that they are able to handle anything that may occur.
Finally, for some teens there may reach a point where their anxiety is so serious that they will need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for professional help. This will allow for a more standard form of psychotherapy for your child to communicate with someone outside of the family.
It is important to remember that because anxiety is more common in females does not mean that it does not exist in males, it rather means that it will be harder to spot a suffering teenager who is a male. For this reason, it is important to not force but encourage communication with your teenager to help them understand that they do have control and that there are people willing to listen and help.