Keep paying attention to your kids’ mental health in this pandemic


Change is a good thing, right? Well, it depends on who you ask. For a person with anxiety, change  can bring on a host of emotions that may leave them in a state of paralysis. However, with healthy coping  strategies and a strong support system, change can be navigated successfully. Adolescence (ages 10-19) is a developmental period that involves significant changes to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, and  social development (Kessler et al., 2007). This transition from childhood to adulthood is critical as they are  beginning to define who they will become as young adults. The complexity of this developmental period is  that these changes are occurring at the same time. Do you remember what it is was like going through  adolescence? Think back to your middle school years and you will immediately show compassion! Now,  imagine going through these changes, layered with anxiety, and the remnants of a significant global event  (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic). When you pause to think about these significant changes, all occurring at one  time, it really helps you to better understand the experiences of a child navigating life with anxious feelings.  

People in general will experience anxiety to some degree, as it is a part of the human experience. How we experience anxiety varies from person to person as we are unique in our genetic makeup,  temperament, and the environments in which we live, work, and have fun. Some common symptoms of  anxiety may include excessive worrying, feeling agitated, restlessness, fatigue, and/or difficulty  concentrating. Symptoms of anxiety become problematic when it interferes with day-to-day functioning. Simply put, if your level of anxiety keeps you from doing what is necessary to function each day (e.g., going  to school, completing chores, interacting with family and friends), then it is time to seek outside help from a  professional experienced with anxiety disorders

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