Parenting teens with anxiety

Anxiety Begets Anxiety

The Healthy Family Connections Podcast

Episode 230 · Duration: 00:24:51

In this episode Neil along with his co-host Robin respond to a mother who is very worried about her anxious and depressed 15 year old daughter.  She doesn’t want to add to her stress, but is concerned that her daughter is not moving forward. Mom has had anxiety all her life and wants her daughter to learn the coping skills she has.

Today we’re hearing from Elizabeth of Los Gatos, California.  Elizabeth writes: 

Dear Neil,

My 15-year-old daughter has depression and extreme anxiety. Unfortunately, I think she got her anxiety from me since I’ve always been an anxious person. I deal with it by staying busy and having goals, but our daughter doesn’t operate that way.  Her psychiatrist says we shouldn’t put pressure on her because she puts too much pressure on herself already. She referred our daughter to a therapist, but she says she only wants to see her psychiatrist because she says she’s the only one who understands her.  But the psychiatrist is expensive and doesn’t have that much time for her. I make sure I don’t pressure her, but I tell her how great she is, and I encourage her to do positive things for herself.  But she doesn’t eat right and mostly stays in her room.  She watches YouTube videos and chats with friends but that’s about it. She used to take piano lessons and dance lessons but says she doesn’t want to anymore. She says that the girls in her dance studio were mean.  She’s always been a good student but towards the end of last year she said she was too anxious to go to school and started missing days.  Her psychiatrist wanted to get her medically excused, and have an at home teacher come to the house, but we didn’t want to do that.  We’re hoping that things will be more normal when she goes back to school, but we’re anxious that she’ll start missing school again. We don’t want to get into any control battles, but we don’t know how to get her to do anything without a battle, and we don’t want to make her anxiety worse.  Is home teaching for her a good idea?  Are there any alternatives we can consider?

Neil and Robin explore the synergistic impact of mother and daughter’s anxiety and what it will take to get unstuck and moving forward. 

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Posted in The Healthy Family Connections Podcast.