Anxiety Symptoms in Teens
For the past two weeks, I've had the joy of sharing two of the 3 Ds of anxiety, distraction, and distress. If you missed those, check them out to get caught up on today's post.
Before I share the last o the three anxiety tips for teens, I want to share why I believe they are essential. Our world is raging with fear and anxiety, and many of us, well into our adulthood, struggle every single day. Living between the ages of 13 and 19, it is now almost inevitable to get diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Imagine this; a younger version of yourself receiving tools for said anxiety before reaching adulthood's new trials. You could learn to manage any anxiety instead of being stuck in it, and even better, you can help disciple a generation of emotionally healthy Christ followers. That is what it's all about, friend.
So let's get to it, the last D…
The origin of this word detention actually means withholding what is claimed or due.
Anxiety robs you of what is owed to you.
In the most extraordinary love story ever written, God sacrificed his one and only son so we could gain eternal life. He loved you so much that he died on the cross for us. When we sit in the detention of anxiety, we rob ourselves of the peace God died on the cross to give us. Nobody likes detention.
One of my most favorite scriptures is
Here is how this shakes out in my life. When I start to feel fear and anxiety, I remember that God does not speak to me that way. His speech is loving, not threatening, confusing, and full of fear and anxiety.
So I remember that I don't want to go to detention. Instead, I remember that my God brings peace to my soul, not anxiety. So I fight hard for it because I know God would not withhold that from me.
How does this all work out practically? Here is a success story of how I paid attention to the sirens that were going on in my life.
Oct 31st, 2022, We lost my father-in-law to cancer.
We lost Troy's (my husband's) grandma weeks later.
Then my dear friend lost her husband.
Our hearts were broken, and I found out I had COVID, along with my son and husband. We were forced to grieve alone. Top it off, we had to cancel a big party my friends were throwing me for my 40th birthday.
One of those things typically was enough to trigger a panic attack.
Instead, I wrote this in my journal.
On the top of a skyscraper, you can see the world differently than the way you see it from the ground. This difficult season is forcing me to see things from a higher perspective. If our family wasn't facing this hardship, would we have spent this much time together? Or instead, would we have filled our schedules with more of what doesn't matter? Would we have spent this much time talking, learning, and looking through memories, or would we have instead stared at screens and ignored each other's presence? Would we have prayed this hard for strength, or would we have instead leaned on ourselves, a counterfeit to real power? Would we be asking the hard questions to God that build our faith, or would we instead have continued living life on autopilot like we are gods? Would we have talked about how heaven is real, or would we instead have continued to act like this world is our home? This difficult season has strengthened my faith.
I'm learning that my faith doesn't exempt me from trials; it equips me for them. That's the skyscraper perspective you often can't see from the ground.
I avoided the 3D's in that instance by keeping this perspective
By NOT being distracted.
We distract ourselves from ourselves. And that is not good.
But in this situation, I didn't run to distraction. I stayed present with God and wrote my feelings out in my journal.
I see a direct correlation to higher anxiety in my life when I'm distracted.
By NOT being Distressed. The Latin original word for distress actually means to stretch apart. This is what anxiety does. It pulls you between what God says and what the enemy says.
I refused to look at things from a negative perspective. I allowed myself to feel pain and sorrow, but I used it to draw me closer to God, not farther away. I refused to be pulled apart. I choose to stay on God's side with this trial. And even though I didn't understand it, I trusted God anyway.
And lastly, I stayed out of detention. Remember, it means withholding what is claimed or due.
Anxiety robs you of what is owed to you. When we sit in the detention of anxiety, we rob ourselves of the peace that God died on the cross to give us.
I stood firm against detention. I knew God was the prince of peace and that He promised peace to me. I knew God died on the cross for me, that he loves me and that His perfect love for me cast out fear. I decided to believe that instead of being detained by anxiety.
This, my friend, is what I want for you.
Learn to be thankful for the sirens that are being blasted in your life. These smoke alarms are a gift that can draw you nearer to God. And being near God is the best place to be.