Anxiety disorder can affect young people of either gender, but girls are much more likely than boys to suffer from it.
Among the most common types of mental disorders, mood and anxiety conditions — including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia — cause teens to feel excessive amounts of fear, worry or nervousness. Treatment for these types of mental illnesses often involves a variety of therapies and the development of personal coping techniques.
Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
Cognitive behavioral therapy, also called talk therapy, is one of the most common treatments for anxiety and mood disorders. By talking with a qualified therapist, teens are able to identify their anxiety triggers ― the particular types of thoughts and feelings that can cause the emotion to erupt.
Cognitive behavioral therapy gives teen girls the mental tools they need to deal with fears, worries and anxious feelings. The goal of talk therapy is to teach teens that, although they cannot control everything that happens in the world around them, they can take control of how they deal with events and situations. Unfortunately, many young people are resistant to this treatment approach.
Biofeedback and Relaxation Techniques
Stress plays a big part in many mood and anxiety disorders, and biofeedback and relaxation strategies can be effectively used to help teens cope when the feeling strikes. Biofeedback therapy uses electronic sensors to measure how the body responds to stress, and with training, teens can learn to control their muscles, breathing patterns and heart rates to manage stress.
Therapists also find it beneficial to teach teens relaxation techniques, such as deep abdominal breathing, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation, as these methods can reduce anxiety and relieve stress.
Alternative Treatments for Anxiety Disorders in Teens
If a teen’s anxiety is moderate to severe, successful treatment may require more than talk therapy and relaxation techniques. For some teens with mood or anxiety disorders, prescription medication, such as an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication, may be appropriate, although this approach is saved for extreme cases.
One of the safest, most effective approaches is the use of experiential therapy techniques in a residential treatment setting. Spending time with other teen girls who are battling similar problems can be particularly helpful, as teens learn they aren’t alone in their struggle.
In a residential setting, girls can explore and compare coping techniques to find strategies that work. Residential treatment programs also offer recreation therapy, music therapy, expressive arts therapy and equine therapy. These techniques have been shown to be especially effective in helping young women cope with behavioral challenges and mental illnesses, but especially mood and anxiety disorders.
When teens are diagnosed with a mental disorder, therapeutic treatments can help them learn to handle the condition and cope with its effects. Havenwood Academy offers a variety of treatment strategies and methods, and each program is individually tailored to meet the needs of our students. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help teen girls with mood and anxiety disorder.