Anxiety Doesn’t Always Look the Same

Anxiety Doesn’t Always Look the Same

written by Dr. Liz Matheis posted on Psychology Today

When we think of anxiety or a person who is anxious, we may think of someone panicking, hyperventilating, or crying. That can be the experience of anxiety, but it’s not always that obvious for children, adolescents, or young adults. Anxiety is an internal physiological and cognitive experience that can be all-consuming and consistent. There are days when anxiety is stronger and there are days when anxiety is quieter. There are times when anxiety is triggered by a scent or a thought, and sometimes, it can be triggered by seemingly nothing at all.

The Silent Side of Anxiety

Anxiety can be an invisible disability in that it can’t be seen. It is often very difficult to look at a person and accurately assess their experience of anxiety and its intensity. It is an internal experience that can be easily misinterpreted as aloofness or disinterest. In fact, people with anxiety are not aloof or disinterested at all. Instead, they often want to be accepted and part of the group. They want to be present but are often worried about:

  • How others feel around them
  • If they have contributed to negative feelings in the social situation they’re in
  • If they can maintain a conversation well
  • If they are being judged
  • Where the exits are
  • Their safety and the safety of others
  • What to do with their hands
  • How to position their body
  • Where to stand
  • When to speak and when to stop speaking

Why Kids’ Anxiety Is at an All-Time High

Why Kids’ Anxiety Is at an All-Time High

written by Dr. Liz Matheis, published on Psychology Today

Here we are, one year and 8 months after the start of the pandemic, still battling its effects, and we are exhausted and overwhelmed. Our children, teens, and young adults continue to hear about new variants of the virus, which makes us believe that this is not over yet.

Adults, parents, and children everywhere are struggling with heightened levels of anxiety and as mental health professionals, there is more need than there is supply. We are seeing the anxiety across the lifespan. Isolation has led to feelings of anxiety and ultimately sadness as there seems to be a little end in sight.

What about the COVID-19 pandemic has created such heightened levels of anxiety for so many of our children?

Teens & Driver Anxiety

Experts tell us their tips for teens with driving anxiety

by Lena Borrelli, published on

you would expect. It is not alcohol or drugs, or even crime that is responsible for about 300,000 emergency room visits each year. The leading cause of death for U.S. teens is a motor vehicle accident, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every day, six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 years old die from crash crashes.

Research also shows that teen driver anxiety could be to blame.

Driver anxiety is a common affliction for many Americans today, but it can be incredibly hard-hitting for teens who have little experience to fall back on. Navigating America’s chaotic roadways is difficult enough for the mature driver, but it can be downright terrifying for teens.

Driver anxiety is a specialized form of anxiety marked by periods of discomfort and stress, with symptoms varying in severity. Some signs, like an extreme panic attack, could pose a significant risk of injury to both you and the drivers around you. Some people may avoid driving altogether to avoid these negative feelings and, quite possibly, a negative outcome while behind the wheel.

We look to the experts to see best practices for living with and overcoming teen driver anxiety on the road.

60 Books About Disabilities and Differences for Kids

60 Books About Disabilities & Differences for Kids

Published on

As a teacher, or parent, who works in education… we meet a lot of students with different abilities and specialties. And sure, we have Autism Awareness month and disability awareness… but it’s so much more than just being aware.

Below you’ll find a curated list of books on special needs, acceptance, and tolerance. There are also books that describe children who have other differences that may make life a little challenging, like walking, hearing, seeing, understanding social cues, and more. These are books that you can use to introduce the topics presented to other children, teachers, and adults.


How to Protect Yourself as an Empath

3 Ways to Protect Yourself as an Anxious Empath

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published on

Anxiety is an incredibly pervasive feeling that impacts every part of our functioning. It impacts our decisions, our thoughts, our feelings, our assessments and, most importantly, our perception of ourselves. Anxious people are some of the most caring and thoughtful people who just want to do right by others. Anxious thoughts are mean. They lie. They tell us things about ourselves that just aren’t true, even when we make decisions that are based on the well-being of others before ourselves.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety has peaked and has become overwhelmingly debilitating for people of all ages — small children, pre-teens, teens, young adults, adults and parents. Because most people who are anxious are also empaths — people who feel more empathy than the average person. In fact, empaths are aware of the feelings that are held by the people around you, whether they are friends, family or even strangers.

How to Reduce Stress When Moving with Kids

How To Reduce Stress When Moving with Kids

by Molly Henderson – published on

On average, each person in the United States can expect to move about 12 times in their lifetime. Ask anyone who has moved even once, and they’ll tell you that moving can be one of the hardest things to do.

Even though they may not be involved when their parents decide that a whole family will move, moving also takes its toll on children. This is why it’s crucial to do as much as you can to ensure that a move causes as little stress as possible to the kids.

Cutting and Self-Harm

Cutting and Self-Harm

Published by

Are you concerned that a friend or family member may be cutting or engaging in self-harm? Or have you done so? Understanding the signs and causes of self-harm can help you step in and take action.

When you’re able to make an informed assessment, you can find the right treatment. It’s critical to stop self-harm before it escalates to a severe level. Keep reading to learn about the signs, causes, and treatments associated with self-harm.

Why We May Feel Burnout Instead of Relief Post-COVID-19

Why We May Feel Burnout Instead of Relief Post-COVID-19

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in

Here we are, post-COVID-19, and although many of us think that our anxiety should begin to subside, what if it isn’t? What if you’re not as relieved as you thought you would be? What if you are not doing the metaphorical happy dance as we begin to gain hope of returning to “normal,” whatever that really means?

It’s been a long 15 months. We have been trying to protect ourselves, our children, our parents and our grandparents from a virus that has an effect that ranges from a cold to not being able to breathe. It’s a frightening virus that has created a level of panic that has permeated and impacted our daily life and mental health immensely. And just like that, we are supposed to let go of all of these safety precautions? I’m not ready. It’s OK. Acknowledge what parts you are not comfortable with and understand that you don’t need to make sudden changes to your routines if you are not ready.

"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

Learn More About Dr. Liz!

Subscribe to our Mailing List
Psychological and Educational Consulting Logo

513 W Mt Pleasant Ave, Ste 212,
​Livingston, NJ 07039