These are called 'nominalisations' in NLP. They are labels, collective names for a large group of symptoms. It is a way of putting how they feel 'out there' at a distance from themselves, where it's safe and not about them and their own personal feelings.
When you child or teen does this, you can help them best by asking them these questions:
1. What exactly do you feel?
2. What's it like?
3. When does it happen?
4. What happens just before the feeling?
5. What would you like to have happen?
6. Is that within your control?
7. What could you do that is in your control?
8. What seems to work best?
9. Have you noticed how your friends respond in that situation, what could you try that seems to work for them?
10. Reassure them that it's OK to feel ........(child's word) and it's part of learning how to cope with a range of emotions that happen at their age.
Do not tell them it's nothing. They are trying to connect with you and want you to listen. It is every child/teen's right to be heard by their parents. Hug them and reassure them that you understand and are there for them.
Do not rescue them. Rescuing is when we take over and take responsibility for resolving their situation. It is not clean. By this, I mean that we are making assumptions about how it could best be resolved. But the map is not the territory. They already have the resources to solve their situation.
Trust that you have brought them up with the values they need and that if they need your help, they will ask for it.
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