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Are you worried that your teenager may be experiencing stress or anxiety?

Perhaps you’re struggling to help them navigate their mood and behaviour. At Kove, we specialise in the treatment of stress and anxiety in teenagers. Read on to learn about the signs of stress and anxiety in teenagers, how we approach diagnosis and the treatment options available.

What is teenage stress?

“But isn’t this just normal teenage angst?” is a question that many parents ask when we are discussing difficulties related to teenagers. Teenagers are in a unique position. Their “job” from a developmental and evolutionary point of view is to learn how to live independently, understand their identity and find a partner. If this wasn’t hard enough, they are doing this while their body changes, and they have increasing academic demands placed on them. Add to this the impact of social media — an existence where you are “on” 24/7, constantly projecting your sense of self to the world. It is unsurprising, then, that rates of anxiety and low mood are higher than ever in adolescents. Stress is the body’s reaction to pressure and difficult situations, which gets you ready to face them with focus and energy. Your levels of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline increase to prepare you for action. In the short term, this is a useful process. But if stress goes on for too long or a young person has more stress than they can cope with, it can start to affect their home and school life. When teenage stress starts to negatively impact a young person’s mood, behaviour and enjoyment of life, it’s time to get help.

Signs of stress and anxiety in teenagers

Symptoms of teenage stress and anxiety can manifest as:

Avoidance of people, places or things, in particular, school avoidance

Excessive reassurance seeking

Emotional outbursts

Being very tearful

Challenging behaviour

Sleep or appetite changes

Excessive expressions of anger

Low mood

Self-harm

Visit our child anxiety page to learn more about how anxiety can manifest in young people.

Diagnosing teenage stress

At Kove, we spend time with you and your teenager to understand the problems you’ve been having before giving a diagnosis. Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires help us to understand the causes and maintenance factors of the young person’s stress. Maintenance factors are ways a young person might be thinking that sustain their stress. We may also speak to your teenager’s school, with your permission, if we feel this is relevant. Once we understand what is causing and maintaining a young person’s stress, we can reach a diagnosis. 

How to manage teenage stress

We use a range of treatments to treat the causes and symptoms of teenage stress. These usually involve both the parents and the young people. One of the treatment models we use is CBT therapy.

Our treatment process usually starts with exploring how teenage stress starts and what keeps it going. We teach parents and teenagers about the links between thoughts, feelings, physiology and behaviour. Then, we’ll work together to try out different strategies week to week. Our aim is for: Young people to feel symptoms have reduced, Parents to report that day-to-day functioning has improved, Young people to be feeling and displaying more resilience, To learn more about stress, watch our videos on how to manage stress and the benefits of doing so.

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Book a Consultation

If your teenager is experiencing stress or anxiety that is affecting their daily life, we’re here to help. Contact us to arrange an initial discussion, and let’s explore ways to make you both feel better.

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