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`The teenage years can be one of the most challenging periods of someone’s life, as they undergo major changes with their body, deal with pressures of education and school life, from peers, criticism and hormonal changes. These pressures can develop feelings of low self-confidence and damage self-worth, which typically results in the teenager feeling inadequate and brings about exam nerves.

Teenagers display their frustration, anger, anxiousness and stress in a variety of ways just like adults do. When youngsters start to have major problems with friends and family or start to become forgetful, fractious or frustrated this could be an indication that they are experiencing feelings of tension and anxiety and/or symptoms of depression. As well as emotional symptoms, they may also present a range of physical symptoms including stomach upsets, tiredness and even hair loss.

Did you know that depression, anger and anxiety are all primitive opt out clauses, which take our control away from the intellectual mind, and remove our brain’s executive function and ability to think, and respond rationally to a situation?

Food for Thought

Depression, Anxiety and Anger are very similar. They are all primitive opt out clauses, which are associated with survival. ‘Depression’ conserves energy and is a kind of semi-hibernation. ‘Anxiety’ keeps us alert to, highlights, and exaggerates potential danger, and ‘Anger’ increases our physical strength. Unfortunately, although teenagers with depression and anxiety often get some help, those with anger issues are often treated as a bad egg, but the all share very similar causes!

Prolonged periods of anxiety attacks and stress can be very psychologically draining, and this can result in a drop in performance at school. This, in turn increases the amount of pressure and panic attacks experienced by the individual, fuelling the matter. High levels of stress and anxiety can result in a young person developing other problems such as agoraphobia, social phobia and eating disorders which may stop them socialising and making a strong social network which can affect them into their adult life.

Some level of anxiety and stress is quite normal when thinking about approaching exams, and this is often exacerbated by other influences of teen life. Without wanting to blow this out of proportion, the pressure of exams alone can adversely affect performance of otherwise intelligent, stable and studious individuals, who are really just trying to do well.

Many people don’t take teenage problems very seriously as they are not considered an ‘adult’, but in fact they may be struggling with problems, which are just as substantial yet unique to their age bracket. They may be combating bullies, other peer distractions, exam freeze, revising difficulties and of course performance anxiety. And this pressure can come from teachers, parents, brothers and sisters and friends alike.

There is certainly no one size fits all solution for all of these issues; they have to be dealt with on numerous fronts. A combination of elements needs to be considered, including help in managing inner stress, an environment of support and love and a mitigation of the exterior pressures as far as possible. But there are some very simple techniques to maximise focus, and the brain’s ability to learn and process information effectively. One very effective therapeutic intervention is hypnotherapy, which can assist to alleviate quite a few of the pressures felt by teenagers.

Hypnotherapy helps by changing the subconscious responses, which people have to certain trigger situations. It starts by establishing any factors that may have caused the more severe problems to develop. This could be critical parents or siblings, alcohol or drug related issues, self-pressure or perfectionism, bullying at school or even some type of abuse, verbal or physical.

For a teenager to respond more appropriately to a given situation, they need to genuinely feel positive and in charge of their life. That’s not to say they shouldn’t run away from a dangerous situation, but whatever the response is, it should be measured. Exam nerves for example, can generate reactions, which are more akin to survival. Sure the exam is important, but failure to achieve an ‘A’ is not life-threatening.

Hypnotherapists have a great deal of experience in using specialist techniques to help people accomplish this effectively. The client’s immediate situation is quickly transformed, whilst they are bestowed with valuable resources for life. The outcome of hypnotherapy should be to resolve the current problems and to make people more resilient to any future problems they may encounter. It will give them the tools they need to be able to change their perceptions and view of any future circumstances they may be faced with.