Parent Guide: Understanding Anxiety Disorders (SAMHSA)

It is very difficult for parents and caregivers to know if their youth or young adult is acting like a typical youth or young adult or if their moods and behaviors are actually symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Teenagers may be moody or withdrawn at times and are sometimes reluctant to talk openly about emotions or behaviors. Perhaps you tried to ask questions but were not able to get answers.

Working with a trained health care professional is important to help you and your youth or young adult understand whether or not they have an anxiety disorder and how to start moving forward.

Hearing a health care professional say your youth or young adult has an anxiety disorder can be confusing. The good news is that the emotions and behaviors you have been concerned about are actually symptoms of a treatable disorder. By engaging in treatment and entering recovery, people with an anxiety disorder can manage their symptoms and feel better. Recovery does not necessarily mean a cure. It does mean people are actively moving towards wellness.

A publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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