Anxiety is persistent worry or fear. It makes a person miserable. When uncontrolled it often causes depression and despair. Some symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, nail biting, stomachaches, overanalyzing, trouble sleeping, clinginess, avoidance and pessimism. When an adolescent experiences severe anxiety it can be devastating.
If you answer yes to some of the following questions your teen might be struggling with anxiety.
- Does your teen often feel worried, afraid or stressed?
- Is your teen struggling in school because of worry?
- Does your teen have fears that just won’t go away?
- Does your teen avoid people, places or activities because they feel nervous?
- Has your teen ever suddenly been overcome with panic?
- Is your teen always fearing the worst?
- Does your teen have ritualistic behavior like hand-washing?
Some Types of Anxiety Disorders
|Social Anxiety “Social Phobia”||Extreme levels of self-consciousness. Excessive worry about being judged by others. Unrealistic fear of committing a social blunder. Efforts are made to avoid places where peers might be present. Teens with Social Anxiety often hate going to school.|
|Generalized Anxiety||Constant worry. The focus of the worry changes, but it is always something. Physical symptoms often include: insomnia, nervousness, muscle tension.|
|Simple Phobia “Specific Fear”
||An intense fear of one thing such as spiders, small spaces or being attacked. The fear is so strong that it gets in the way of daily activities.|
|Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder “OCD”||Unwelcome thoughts that cannot be controlled (“obsessions”). Sometimes “compulsions” are part of the OCD to try and stop the unwelcome thoughts. Examples of compulsions are repeatedly checking that the door is locked, counting or washing hands.|
||Anxiety attacks. Sudden, intense panic that usually ranges from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. It is so scary that people often think they are dying. It can feel like a heart attack, choking, difficulty breathing, dizziness and sometimes causes vomiting. For some people the fear of panicking in public leads them to avoid going places (agoraphobia).|