NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
Teenagers that were born premature have an increased risk of anxiety than if they were born at full term. The risk is greater the earlier gestation the baby was born at. Other factors include parenting, home environment, academic achievement, peer relationships and social media to name a few. These problems could have a large impact on school performance and interaction with other teenagers. Anxiety can also have an effect on teenagers thinking where they perceive the fear or danger to be greater than it is. Thinking about the situation, makes them more worried and stressed.
A teenager with anxiety may:
Parents of teenagers born preterm should be aware that there may be an increased risk for anxiety and indicate to teachers and mental health professionals that their teenager was born premature and to assist them with the right interventions. Supporting your teenager by encouraging them to do things they are fearful about and then praising them for doing it and using positive terms will help them overcome their fears.
Activities that can reduce anxiety in teenagers include:
If the anxiety is severe you should seek treatment with your teenager from a Counsellor or Psychologist for treatment. Sometimes a teenager may be referred to a Psychiatrist. Medicating is always a concern but, in some cases, medication combined with therapy is more beneficial than therapy alone. As teenagers are more accountable and aware of their behaviour, you as the parent may not be part of the treatment sessions, your respect to their privacy is paramount. Although extremely difficult for parents, let your teenager share therapy sessions with you when they are ready. Your support and respect will be a great benefit to your teenager.
Questions for Healthcare Professionals:
It can be stressful for a parent wondering if your teenager is suffering from anxiety. Parents should reach out and seek help from a counsellor or doctor to talk it through.
“You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think”
– Christopher Robin