Anxiety affects everyone, but according to new research, “anxiety is becoming more common than ever, especially over the last few decades.” There has been a 20% increase in anxiety diagnoses for teens ages 6-17 between 2007 and 2012. This increase in teens with anxiety may be due to:
- The rise of social media
- Increased peer pressure and social comparison
Teens With Anxiety: When is it a Problem?
Cheryl Carmin, a psychologist at Ohio State University says, “The fine line between anxiety and an anxiety disorder is whether or not it’s holding you back.”
Anxiety disorder symptoms include:
- Interferes with a person’s life
- Physiological issues
- Irritability and nervousness
- The feeling of danger or impending doom
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble with sleeping
- Gastrointestinal issues
Teens with Anxiety: What Percentage of the Population Has Anxiety?
- Phobias (7%-9%): heights, animals, insects, blood or injury, environmental causes, feeling closed in or flying
- Social anxiety disorder (7%): fear of negative evaluation, fear of public speaking and performance anxiety
- Generalized anxiety disorder (2%-3%): health, public speaking, natural disasters and more.
To be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, “you need to experience three or more symptoms for more days than not within a six-month period.”
Teens with Anxiety: Whom Does it Affect?
- Anxiety affects 40 million Americans each year
- Anxiety affects anyone regardless of age, gender or ethnicity
- Anxiety doesn’t discriminate based on success or anything else
Teens with Anxiety: When to Get Help
Joseph Baskin, Psychiatrist at the Cleveland Institute says, “You don’t need to wait six months to get help.” He says it’s time to call a doctor or therapist when, “your anxiety is sustained and unremitting, causing enough problems to keep you from living your normal life.”
Treatment options include:
- Range of medications, therapies, and wellness routines
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): patients are encouraged to face their fears rather than continually avoid situations
- Marijuana and CBD
- Mindfulness-based lifestyle approaches
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Exercise, a healthy diet, and quality time with loved ones (not a standalone treatment)
Teens with anxiety are encouraged to seek help if symptoms persist and become unmanageable. Caretakers should reach out to family doctors or a trusted therapist to seek out the proper treatment options.
To learn more about anxiety, click here.