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How to Survive Anxiety and Puberty

Daniel Sher, MA, Clin Psychology
How to Survive Anxiety and Puberty

Puberty is an especially challenging time for both teenagers and their parents. Those going through puberty are changing daily, with new hormones and experiences that affect their view of the world around them and potentially also their mental health. Parents of teenagers often live with the repercussions of those changes and are sometimes on the receiving end of many different experiences that cause worries or concerns.

This article explores anxiety linked to puberty from the perspective of both teenagers and parents and provides some tips for how to cope.

For Parents

We'll start by looking at anxiety in parents, and continue by examining anxiety in teenagers. It's important to note that the more anxiety you experience in your day to day life, the more likely you are to be stressed out by your child hitting puberty. 

It's easy to see why so many parents struggle with their mental health when raising a child through puberty. Just some of the many causes of anxiety include:

These are just some of the issues that can bring anxiety into the lives of parents with puberty-age children.

How to Control This Anxiety

Parents that are suffering from anxiety as a result of their child reaching puberty need to be able to calm themselves both for their own mental health and for their child's. A stressed parent contributes to a stressed child, and even the negative behaviors (like aggression) may be more common when the parent finds the child's actions to cause anxiety.

Controlling this type of anxiety isn't easy, but there are strategies that work. They include:

The reality is that it is hard to raise a child that has hit puberty. But it's a challenge that all parents need to go through. Remember, learn how to cope with most anxiety and find strategies to to cope with the stress that having an adolescent can bring, and you'll be better for it as a result.

For Youths

If you're a youth that's in the process of going through puberty, the most important thing to remember is that everything you feel is normal, even if not all of it makes sense in the moment.

When you go through puberty, all of the following issues occur at once:

When you're going through the puberty years, it's easy to feel like the way you're feeling will be the same forever. But it’s important to remember that those changes and uncomfortable experiences most often pass on their own with time. 

What Can You Do to Reduce Anxiety?

One of the hard things is that hormones really do change the way you think. That can make it harder to stop anxiety because you're always going to feel like your emotions are "normal" even when they're not.

It's so important to remember that things in life are only as important as you make them. When you get into a fight with your parents or someone says something bad about you in school, it's only important if you let it be important. By changing the way we think about something, we can change the way that we feel. 

One thing you should definitely do is make sure you're exercising. Exercising releases chemicals in your brain that make your mood better. This can also improve your confidence and self-esteem. It's especially important nowadays when many kids spend too much time sitting in front of their computer.

Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is one of the most important things you can do when you have anxiety. Trying to deal with it all on your own is very hard, especially when you're young, so asking for help and telling people how you feel - especially people you can trust - is one of the best ways to cope. 

Finding a Cure for Anxiety Experienced During Puberty

For both parents and children dealing with puberty, these years can be stressful. It's natural that they're going to cause some issues that can bring stress into your life.

But the more you manage your anxiety and the faster you seek help, the more you can enjoy life and get the most out of each and every day.

Article Resources
  1. Deardorff, Julianna, et al. Puberty and gender interact to predict social anxiety symptoms in early adolescence. Journal of adolescent health 41.1 (2007): 102-104.
  2. Reardon, Laura E., Ellen W. Leen-Feldner, and Chris Hayward.A critical review of the empirical literature on the relation between anxiety and puberty. Clinical Psychology Review 29.1 (2009): 1-23.
  3. Ge, Xiaojia, Rand D. Conger, and Glen H. Elder Jr. The relation between puberty and psychological distress in adolescent boys. Journal of Research on Adolescence 11.1 (2001): 49-70.
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