Teenage Anxiety: What is it and what do I do about it?

A teen covers her face as she sits on a couch. This could represent the stress an anxiety therapist in Savannah, GA can offer support with. Learn how counseling for teenagers in Savannah, GA can offer support by searching for an anxiety therapist near me today.

Anxiety is a normal feeling of worry or nervousness we all experience at some point. However, for some people, the problem becomes too big, making it hard to manage. As we enter our teenage years, we find children with an increase in anxiety symptoms due to multiple factors. In this article, we will identify anxiety, explain reasons for increased anxiety among teens, and give you tips to help your teenager when anxiety presents itself. 

What is anxiety?

A teen stands alone looking out at a cloudy shore. This could represent the isolation an anxiety therapist in Savannah, GA can help overcome. Learn how counseling for teenagers in Savannah, GA can offer support by searching for an anxiety therapist near me today.
We have all heard about anxiety many times, but what does it mean to experience it? Anxiety disorders encompass various types of mental health issues, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and other specific phobias. Anxiety is a complex response to real or perceived threats characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes. It can cause cognitive, behavioral, and physical changes. Anxiety can happen in response to a specific situation or event but continues after the situation has passed. It can happen without a specific situation or event too. Everyone worries about things now and again, but for people with anxiety, it can have a debilitating impact on their daily life.

Anxiety symptoms vary depending on the disorder and the individual. Anxious teens can become more withdrawn and spend more time in their rooms. They may increase talk about worries or fears. Most anxiety conditions in teens involve several or most of the symptoms detailed below. 

Signs of Anxiety in Teens

  • Recurring fears and worries about routine parts of everyday life.
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Extreme self-consciousness or sensitivity to criticism
  • Withdrawal from social activity
  • Avoidance of difficult or new situations
  • Chronic complaints about stomach aches or headaches
  • Drop in grades or school refusal
  • Repeated reassurance-seeking
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance use

A teen lays in bed while covering their face. This could represent the isolation an anxiety therapist in Savannah, GA can help teens address. Learn how counseling for teenagers in Savannah, GA can offer support by searching for an anxiety therapist near me today.
Causes of Anxiety in Teens

There is not one obvious cause of anxiety. Instead, there are many potential causes of anxiety in teens. Teen anxiety can result from several things related to their personality, upbringing, and life circumstances. Moreover, adolescence is a unique and formative time when teens are exposed to physical, emotional, and social changes. Many teens are at risk of developing significant anxiety because they are figuring out their identity and finding their independence.

These days, teens are under more pressure than ever.

Teens face pressure to get good grades, look good, fit in socially, and participate in extracurricular activities. Teens experience anxiety due to pressures in school that are tied directly to their post-graduation goals (i.e.attending a four-year college or what to do after graduation). Social media and texting can also increase anxiety symptoms in teens because they miss out on nonverbal cues, which can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Texting can also make talking in person feel more intimidating. It is not uncommon for teenagers to feel bad about themselves when they see others online that they perceive to look perfect with perfect lives.

There are many causes of teenage anxiety, which are outlined below.

These causes typically revolve around feeling unsure of oneself and needing additional support to navigate teenage life.

Need to achieve: Teens often feel stressed about meeting the expectations they believe they need to achieve. 

Sleep deprivation: Teens need time to decompress and relax; otherwise, it intensifies their worry.

Hormonal Changes: Many physical changes mark adolescence. As teens’ hormone production develops, their emotional state will change.

Peer Pressure: The need to fit in and feel validated can also cause teen anxiety.

Substance Use: Many teens experiment with alcohol and, in some cases, recreational drugs. Some anxious teens will already turn to these substances as a form of self-medication.

Depression: One of the most significant causes of anxiety in teens is depression

Technology: Devices, social media, and gaming are causes of anxiety in teens. Teens may spend a lot of time online worried about their appearance and fitting in; some can even be victims of cyberbullying.

 Unhealthy Food Choices: Eating fatty foods with sugar can harm a teen’s emotional state. Excess sugar can cause bodily systems to increase anxiety.

How Parents can help

Coping with your teen’s anxiety can be a challenging situation for parents. However, there is a lot that parents can do to help their child. Instead of assuming they will outgrow their anxiety, parents should take an active approach to get their teens help to deal with their symptoms and regain control of how they view themselves and the world around them.

Encourage kids to talk about their anxieties. Start a conversation with your child by asking them to express their feelings about their worries.

Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Express encouragement and compassion. Let your teen know that anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and that you are confident they can handle it.

Encourage positive self-talk. Self-talk is the way your teen talks to themselves or their inner voice. Positive self-talk is beneficial because it significantly impacts your feelings and actions.

A teen sits with their dog as they watch the sunrise. This could symbolize how counseling for teenagers in Savannah, GA can offer support.
Encourage healthy choices. Healthy lifestyle choices can help teens manage anxiety. 

Physical activity, sleep, healthy food and drink 

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other drugs.

Avoid unnecessary stress by not putting things off.

Do breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness exercises.

Parents can set a good example of using technology by establishing tech-free zones in the

house and tech-free hours when no one is on their phones.

When to seek counseling for teenagers:

If your teen:

  • Constantly feels nervous, anxious, on edge, or cannot stop or control worrying.
  • Has anxious feelings that go on for weeks, months, or even longer.
  • Has anxious feelings that interfere with their schoolwork, socializing, and everyday activities

Anxiety that is severe and long-lasting might be an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders usually respond well to professional treatment. Treating an anxiety disorder early reduces the likelihood that it will affect a young person’s mental health and development in the long term.

Begin Counseling for Teenagers in Savannah, GA

Water’s Edge Counseling team of counselors have vast experience treating teens with anxiety. If your teen experiences severe anxiety, we encourage you to call Water’s Edge Counseling. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

  1. Call us at 912. 319. 5552 or email us at [email protected]  we can find the right therapist for your teen’s needs.  
  2. Meet with a caring therapist
  3. Start coping with anxiety in a more healthy way!

Other Services Offered with Waters Edge Counseling

We know that teens can experience a variety of mental health concerns as they grow. This is why our team is happy to offer support with multiple mental health services including online counseling, clinical supervision, coping after a cancer diagnosis, and SCAD student counseling. We are also happy to offer therapy for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, teen substance abuse, and counseling for men. In addition, we also offer child counseling, family counseling, Christian counseling, and marriage counseling. Visit our blog for more helpful info today!