Anxiety in Teens

Sep 26, 2018 | Anxiety, Adolescent Treatment, Mental Health

Many teenagers have anxiety. Some of this anxiety in teens occurs because of the normal transition from childhood to adulthood. During this time, teenagers experience physical, intellectual, and social changes. Their thinking becomes more abstract and complex and social interactions become more important to them. They often begin to question the status quo as they work to figure out their place in the world around them. They also start to assert their own independence while trying to gain acceptance from their peers. All of this occurs while their hormones are fluctuating, and their body is changing. Given these changes, it is not surprising that teenagers feel anxious.

Anxious teens frequently struggle with the following issues:

  • Insecurity about their appearance – Many teenagers become hyper-focused on their appearance and may constantly compare themselves to their friends or other peers around them.
  • Feelings of inadequacy – Teenagers that feel anxious often feel inadequate and, as a result, they may avoid trying activities where they may fail.
  • MoodyTeens with anxiety may become moody or depressed, especially when having to deal with a situation that is anxiety-provoking.
  • Agitation – Many teenagers with anxiety become agitated especially when having to face challenging or demanding situations.
  • Low Self-esteem – Teenagers with anxiety often struggle with low self-esteem. They tend to avoid situations that cause them anxiety which further erodes their sense of confidence.

While most teenagers experience anxiety at some point in their life, this anxiety tends to be short-lived and situation-specific. However, some teenagers experience anxiety that is ongoing and/or severe. When this occurs, they may begin to experience significant mental health problems. Some of the most common mental health issues that are manifested by teens with anxiety include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – This occurs when a teenager has ongoing anxiety that disrupts their normal ability to function.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – Teenagers with social anxiety tend to avoid social situations and may experience panic attacks when having to be around other people.
  • Panic Disorder – Teens with panic disorder may have frequent episodes of severe anxiety where they have trouble breathing and where they experience a sudden surge of fear. They often become fearful that they will die during these episodes.
  • School Anxiety – Some teens with anxiety become fearful of attending school. They may begin to have difficulty passing school because of their lack of school attendance.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Some teens with anxiety develop compulsive behaviors or obsessive thoughts. These thoughts and behaviors can become so debilitating that teens may have difficulty functioning.
  • PTSD – Teenagers that have experienced severe trauma often experience anxiety.
  • Separation anxiety – Some teens with anxiety become fearful of being away from their primary caregivers.
  • Eating Disorders – Some anxious teens develop eating disorders, including anorexia or bulimia. If left untreated, these conditions can become life-threatening.
  • Substance Abuse – Many teenagers with anxiety turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem and instead just leads to teens feeling anxious and more and more out of control.

Teenagers with anxiety that is ongoing or that develops into a mental disorder often benefit from counseling. Psychotherapy can help teenagers develop the tools they need to minimize their anxiety and develop healthy coping strategies. If you have a teen that is struggling with anxiety, New Dimensions can help. To learn more about our services, call us at 1-800-685-9796.

New Dimensions Can Help!

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.

Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit to learn more.