Anxiety Treatment and Teens During Coronavirus
Adults are not the only ones who go through anxiety or fear during a pandemic. Children or teens who are aware of the threat of coronavirus may also go through episodes of hysteria, panic attacks, or anxiety disorder. Teens who normally have anxiety treatment may feel the need to take more medication to manage their symptoms in the same way as adults.
Parents with children who have anxiety disorders need to monitor their child’s behaviour and concerns. They also need to help their child maintain their anxiety treatment dosage and schedules so that they stay on track. Parents who notice high levels of fear or anxiety should contact their teens’s therapist for more information on dealing with the coronavirus.
Anxiety Issues That Teens Face During a Pandemic
Children essentially have the same fears as adults. The difference is how they process these fears and their level of understanding of the current coronavirus. Issues that are unique to children or teens include:
- Early development of emotional regulation
- Lack of experience dealing with a national crisis
- Inherent vulnerability to a pandemic
- How they process the news or what they see on social media
- Lack of knowledge of the risk the nature of the coronavirus
All of these can cause children to have panic attacks or episodes of severe anxiety and depression. A child or teen that already has an anxiety disorder will feel a sense of heightened anxiety symptoms if they are quarantined or have a friend or family member that catches the virus.
Parents need to understand how their child reacts to such a crisis and respond accordingly. Asking a child to calm down or act like an adult is not a realistic expectation. Therefore, parents need to be more understanding and sensitive to their teen’s fears and emotional needs.
Monitoring Your Child’s Anxiety Treatment During Coronavirus
Teenagers may tend to overreact during a pandemic. They may try to find ways to self-medicate as a coping mechanism to their anxiety. This can lead to behaviours such as abusing their anxiety medication, using their parent’s medication or drinking alcohol. If they have marijuana or other drugs, they may increase their intake so that they stay calm.
Parents should be aware of this potential and take measures to monitor their child’s behaviour. They may want to put any medication in a secure location and administer all prescriptions instead of allowing the child to take it themselves. Furthermore, they may want to place any alcohol in a secure location away from open access. While this will not necessarily address their child’s anxiety, it can keep it from getting worse.
Suggestions for Dealing with Teen Anxiety
The following are a few general guidelines for handling the coronavirus and communicating with children during a pandemic quarantine.
Stay Calm and Don’t Panic
The best way to encourage a child to stay calm is by staying calm. When a parent overreacts to a situation, the child is more likely to become more anxious. Parents should put the current crisis into perspective so that they do not become over-emotional.
Limit Exposure to the Media
With all the free time that children may currently have, they may turn to the TV or social media. Sensationalist news and the constant bombardment of the virus on social media news feeds can lead to anxiety and depression, as children become more uncertain about their own situation.
Talk to Children About the Coronavirus
Although overexposure is not good, neither is keeping children in the dark. Parents should sit down with their children to discuss the facts about the virus. Currently, the facts are far less alarming than what they are reading online or seeing in the news.
Maintain Normalcy in the Home
Some parents and kids may view the current outbreak as a ‘staycation’. However, allowing things to get chaotic at home will only produce more anxiety. Parents should keep a schedule and a clean house. Kids can participate in activities and help out with chores to stay busy. Parents should also make sure that they keep anxiety treatment on schedule.
Contact Venture Academy For Anxiety Treatment
For telehealth teen anxiety treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, look no further than Venture Academy. We specialize in treatment for teens, including mental health disorders like anxiety. Call us at 866.762.2211 to learn more about our safety measures for residential clients and telehealth offerings.