Is my teen worried or anxious?

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Anxiety disorders among teens have been rising for several years. According to Elements Behavioral Health, anxiety disorders currently affect about 25% of all teens and 30% of teen girls.

Anxiety in young adults has also been on the rise. According to Psychology Today, one of the reasons for this is because young adults are entering the work force later than they used to. Some young adults are living the teen life well into their twenties and may end up feeling unprepared for what comes next.

Although nobody knows exactly what is causing the rise in anxiety disorders among young people, it is often attributed to massive social and cultural changes. Our society increasingly tends to focus more on materialism and less on relationships. As a result, parents are working more and spending less quality time with their teens.

Social comparison is also a culprit that can increase anxiety, at any age. It's especially damaging for teens and young adults, who are already experiencing significant changes emotionally and hormonally. Social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram make it so that young people are in a position to always see what all of their friends are doing. Since most people post the "best" of their lives, teens can get caught up in comparisons and feel less than who they really are. They never feel good enough, which can lead to isolation, anxiety, and even depression. This social comparison also makes it less likely that teens will seek help if needed. They do not want to be stigmatized as having a mental health problem for fear of being seen as different or being bullied. Teens and young adults typically tend to worry a lot, but when that worry becomes excessive it may actually be an anxiety disorder.

According to Health Central, here are some signs of possible anxiety disorder in teens:

· Consistent and excessive worry every day for a period of time

· Complaints of physical symptoms such as headache, stomachache or fatigue

· Problems sleeping

· Overly self-critical or filled with self-doubt

· Constant approval seeking from adults in their life

· Continually and excessively checking and re-checking homework.

· Avoidance and social withdrawal, including from friends and school

· Other disorders that may be present, such as ADHD

· Continuous worry despite reassurances from parents and school personnel

· Experimenting with drugs

· Sudden changes in mood

· Irritability

· Severe or worsening fears (afraid to be alone or afraid to sleep in own bed)

If you are a teen/young adult or the parent of a teen/young adult who displays any of these symptoms, there may be an issue of anxiety disorder. The great news is that there is help. Seek out a professional to help navigate through this difficult time. Do not be afraid to reach out. If you suspect your child has an anxiety disorder or depression, reach out to his pediatrician, school counselor, or qualified professional counselor like the counselors at eSupport Counseling. Our counselors are trained to listen to your teen’s unique needs and help develop a treatment plan that will help. #esupportcounseling #counselorshelp #teendepression #teenissues #myteenneedshelp #parentinghelp #teenanxiety

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