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Explore the unique issues causing adolescents anxiety

NOTE: ALL Podcasts are for educational purposes only and are NOT a replacement for medical advice or counseling from a licensed professional. #adolescentanxiety #parenting #childdevelopment Adolescent Anxiety Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC Continuing Education Objectives  Identify prevalence  Explore triggering issues  Discuss how/why adolescents respond differently than adults (or even children)  Review intervention approaches Physical Triggers  Sleep (Anxiety; schedules; homework; hygiene)  Nutrition (incl. energy drinks)  Hormone fluctuations  Gender Identity (and determining their gender identity)  Hyper-responsive (comparatively) HPA-Axis  Immature PFC  Hyperactive stress response  Stuck in F/F mode (emotional mind) making it difficult to think clearly and identify what is bothering them in the moment Affective/Cognitive Triggers  Fewer experiences to inform default schema  Increased “learning” from less than accurate sources  Lack of awareness to find “accurate” sources  Increased distress increases emotional salience of distressful triggers  Extreme thinking / demands for perfection / difficulty with identifying diminishing returns  So much stimulation serves to distract from mindfulness Cognitive Development  Concrete:  Dichotomous  Egocentric (until age 7) Can only see their own point of view  Inductive reasoning—observation to idea (generalization) Green traffic lights always turn yellow.  Formal (11y.o.+):  Abstract thinking,  Deductive reasoning— If A=B and B=C then A=C If any of the premises are incorrect then the solution will also be incorrect.  How much incorrect or only partially correct information is out there?  Based on their “years of experience” how many of the generalizations made during childhood which now inform their reasoning are accurate?  Often not taught to challenge existing generalizations Environmental Triggers  Lack of safety  Virtual safety: 24/7 and permeating all safe spaces; disinhibition (abuse/neglect); deep fakes; identity theft; catfish; out of context posts or life-long posts negatively impacting school acceptance or jobs  Lack of a need to leave leads to fewer experiences “out there” and a discomfort with “out there”  Instagram facade Relational  Identity vs. Role Confusion (Erikson)  Defining “Who am I?”  Identity involves the experiences, relationships, and values that make up a person's sense of self.  People who are not allowed to explore and test out different identities might lead to role confusion—being unsure of who they are and where they fit in (if anywhere).  People who develop a role identity based on one or more “canceled” principles may fear abandonment if people knew the “real them” Relational  Parental distress: Perception and Disengagement  Texting vs. talking  Cancel culture (rejection/abandonment)  Constantly changing landscape  FOMO = no time for relaxation  Larger fishbowl (swipe right / ghosting)  May never know why someone ghosted which can lead to inaccurate conclusions  Reduced effort in relationships  Sexuality  Define rich and meaningful life Purposeful Action  Choosing to use your energy doing things that just spin your wheels or help you get traction to move forward Mindfulness (Morning and Night)  Strengths and vulnerabilities  Physical  Affective  Cognitive  Environmental  Relational  Identify ways to address vulnerabilities Urge Surfing Distress Tolerance: TAGS Exercise and Stretching  Adolescents are growing rapidly.  Exercise and stretching can help with feelings of coordination and reduce pain  Mild exercise can help reduce cortisol levels  Moderate to intense exercise can help “reset” the stress response BETA Testing  Breathe  Examine the Facts in Context  Talk to others and think about alternatives  Act to improve the next moment and assess outcomes