Anxiety Among Teenagers
It’s no secret that teenagers today are under a lot of pressure. They’re constantly bombarded with messages about how they should look, how they should act, and what they should be doing with their lives. It’s no wonder that anxiety levels in teenagers are on the rise. In fact, teenage anxiety has been a concerning issue, especially since the pandemic.
Several reasons can contribute to anxiety in teenagers. One of the most common is social media. Teenagers constantly compare themselves to others and feel like they don’t measure up. Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity often originate in teenagers due to this. Other factors contributing to anxiety in teenagers include academic pressure, family conflict, and relationship problems. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. If you’re feeling anxious about yourself or your teenage child, there are people who can help you.
Rising Anxiety In Teenagers
Most of the time, anxiety or panic attacks occur in humans for many reasons. These could usually be the reaction to any situation that was unexpected or even difficult to be faced. While these feelings are common in almost all humans, the constant occurrence of these can be a tricky issue in the long run.
A common question adults in society raise is why teenagers would have anxiety at such a young age. And the short answer is that the reason can be anything and doesn’t have to be significant.
Most students feel a tight knot in their stomachs and feel pukish before attending an exam or going to school. Anxiety can come in different ways; it might, for instance, manifest itself as a common headache before a big and exciting event.
While it is important to be aware that some students might make up a reaction for missing an exam, it is equally important to be sensitive that their withdrawal or reaction could be due to the intense anxiety of facing a difficult situation. Therefore, before making a decision, have a good talk with the teen to ensure they are not experiencing panic attacks or other personal problems that could cause their anxious behaviour.
Reasons For Anxiety In Teens
So the golden question is, “How to deal with anxiety among teens?” This can be solved by acknowledging and understanding the cause. The following are some common causes why teens might exhibit signs of anxiety.
Peer Pressure And Expectations From Adults
Maintaining a social life while being an all-around achiever might be challenging for most teenagers. Especially among people of this age, the future decisions to make, like going to prestigious colleges and having an esteemed profession, can feel like a lot to deal with.
Among their own expectations, high expectations from parents and others can also be a relevant reason for rising anxiety. Peer pressure is also a reason for the rise of social anxiety that comes from the norms of being fit in the group or having common skills to gain friendships.
Changes In Physical Appearance
Teenage anxiety can be due to hormonal changes in adolescents. Teenage is when several changes occur in everybody, like testosterone surges in boys and hormonal shifts because of menstruation in girls and other such changes. These might be the main factor in constant mood swings leading to stress and depression.
Perception Of Others
Anxiety levels in teens could also increase due to the inability to do many tasks that seem to come in the time of adulting. People’s brain development at this age only entirely happens in their early to late twenties. Therefore, being at an age where people expect them to behave like adults when they cannot do so might be frustrating for most teens. This feeling, combined with the worry about how others perceive them, might take a toll on the stress levels of teenagers.
How To Identify Early Signs Of Anxiety In Teens?
Teen anxiety can be perceived and identified without significant after-effects. The most common symptoms are withdrawal, moody behaviour, and lashing out in certain situations. In some extreme situations, it can also lead to panic attacks. Below mentioned are some signs of anxiety in teens.
- Messed up sleep routines, which further fuels anxiety
- Drugs and alcohol use
- Stress due to high expectations in studies and grades
- Lack of self-confidence and self-conscious due to the physical changes
- Withdrawal from situations due to fear
- Recurring stomach or headaches
- Constant need for approval and irritable or lashing-out behaviors
Graph showing the percentage of anxiety faced by teenagers in India in the year 2016
What Help Can Be Provided?
Once anxiety issues are identified, it is advisable to get professional help and ensure that the teen is provided with love and care. Anxiety disorders can be a cause of depression. Hence, how to deal with anxiety can be answered with the help of a few things mentioned below.
Meet A Therapist Or A Counselor
Often, seeing a therapist might not seem exciting, but meeting and talking to an expert might be a great help. Therapists help to navigate the root problem of anxiety and eventually work out fears and worries. With the right therapy, things will become a lot better than expected.
Talk With Others
This is for all the parents and elders who are trying to improve the situation of their teens. Have a constant discussion on matters that are troubling them. Be a friend and enable them to open up with you without fear. As for the teens, if not parents, reach out to someone like a friend with whom you feel free to discuss or can trust with the issues.
Meditation And Self-Love
This might seem silly, but meditation or going out for a walk to clear any thoughts can make a change. Be mindful of all the little things in life, and last but not least, make self-love a part of the lifestyle. Try doing something like a hobby that could make the mood pleasant, like reading a book or watching a favourite show when stressed.
Without proper treatment and help, anxiety can become a long-standing issue for teens and significantly affect their lives. Therefore seek medical help when required and try to include a healthy routine in everyday life.
And lastly, never self-diagnose or self-treat. Always meet an expert who can guide appropriately with excellent outcomes and reach out to others when in need of help without avoiding it.