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Anxiety Disorder in Teens – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Teenage is said to be the most learning age of our lives. We are not a kid anymore but not adults as well. We are too grown up for some things and too young for some at the same time. Even we get to learn what life is. And most importantly, we get to know who we are. The teenage generation of today is very occupied. Occupied with academics, career-building pressure, body changes, emotional changes, and constant dependence on technology. And under all this pressure and stress, we unknowingly attract anxiety.

Anxiety is a feeling or sensation of fear that captures your mind whenever you are under stress or have an intuition of something bad happening. But isn’t being nervous before an exam very normal? or being frightened if you know dad is going to scold you for something you did?. Isn’t this normal?.

The answer is yes, it is normal and that’s not what we are talking about here. Being anxious and having an anxiety disorder are two completely different things. Let us study both of them.

Normal Anxiety

We all feel anxious from time to time and it is very normal to feel so. Anxiety can be defined as a sense of uneasiness, fear, worry, stress, the nervousness about what is about to happen. Fear is a feeling that you experience during any threat or problem while anxiety is a feeling which is related to the expectation of threat, problem, danger in the coming future. This feeling can be mild or intense, depending upon the person and the situation. Mild anxiety can give you a sense of uneasiness or nervousness while intense anxiety can make you experience fear, danger, or panic.

It’s a natural thing to feel anxious if something new, important or difficult is coming up. Being anxious when you have an exam, a big date, a huge class presentation, or competition is perfectly normal. Although these events causing natural anxiety never threaten a person’s safety, they can cause someone to feel “threatened” by potential embarrassment, worry about making a mistake, fitting in, stumbling over words, being accepted or rejected, or losing pride.  It lasts only till that particular event or thing is not done. Physical sensations such as a pounding heart, sweaty hands, or a nervous stomach can be a cause of anxiety.

A bit of normal anxiety is actually helpful. It helps us in being alert, focused, and prepared to deal with handling the coming situation. It can push us towards doing our best. But a the same time excessive anxiety can bound a person in a situation where he might feel overwhelmed,  tongue-tied, or unable to do what he needs to do.

Also Read : 6 Easy Ways to Calm Down your Anxiety

Anxiety disorders

Now here comes the real issue. When small events start triggering your anxiety at a level that you feel things are getting out of control or when you feel anxious without any reason is where anxiety disorder stands.

An anxiety attack takes place when there is something particular triggering the person. The majority of the times anxiety takes place due to some event or situation. Though, this is not the case always. It majorly hits a person due to fear of something bad happening in a particular situation. This means there is a specific subject that is creating a sense of fear in that person. It tends to develop gradually over time. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. There may be a sense that it can be over once that particular problem is solved. Even constant anxiety can worsen the situation and lead to panic attacks, which are severe and affect the patient a lot.

Different kinds if Anxiety Disoders are:

  1. Generalized anxiety- With this common anxiety disorder, a person worries excessively about many things. Any perwson with generalized anxiety may over worry about their health, career, school , family or any other issue which doesn’t even require this much attention. They may think worst possibility for any situation or problem. Physical symptoms in people who have generalized anxiety are chest pain, headache, tiredness, tight muscles, stomachaches, or vomiting.
  2. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)- For a person with OCD, anxiety comes in the form of obession and compulsion. Obsession of thought or something to happen whereas compulsion to things that relieve their anxiety.
  3. Phobias- Intense fear of any particular thing or situation that is not actually dangeours are called as having phobias. People have phobias like phobia of heights, dogs, or flying in an airplane. Phobias usually cause people to avoid the things they are afraid of.
  4. Social Phobia (Social Anxiety)- If an intense anxiety triggers you while doing any social activity such as going to a party, speaking in front of others etc, then you have social phobia. In this the person avoids social interactions as much as he can. An extreme form called selective mutism causes some kids and teens to be too fearful to talk at all in certain situations.
  5. Panic attack- Panic attack have symptoms like anxiety attack in a more intense form. A panic attack needs no triggering point to start. Though when a person is suffering from panic disorder, any small or big problematic situation or thing can trigger anxiety and that anxiety can easily lead to a panic attack. But even if the person is calm, he/she might get hit by a panic attack. A panic attack can happen without a warning and you can’t prevent it. A panic attack can occur even if the person feels calm, anxious or even during sleep. In fact, according to the APA, the reaction is unrelated to the situation.a person might feel that he or she is going to die, faint or loosing control over themselves.
  6. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)- This type of disorder results from any tragedy or mishappening happened in the past that left an impact on a person’s mind.

Symptoms of Anxiety in Teens

  • worry and apprehension
  • restlessness
  • sleep problems
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • sadness
  • feeling pressure and hurried

Also Read – How to manage workplace anxiety?

Solution and Treatment

As a teen, if you are feeling that your anxiety is getting severe, then start finding the reasons. What is that one thing or multiple things that are making you feel so anxious? Try to avoid so much pressure on yourself as you are too young for it, do not let social media make you feel bad about yourself in any way. Keep yourself busy but with positivity, Do things that bring positivity and make you happy. This can help you out so much in staying calm. Some other steps to adopt are:

  1. Tell a parent or other adult about physical sensations, worries, or fears.– It is very important for a teen to consult his parents or any other adult about the symptoms of anxiety. This is because you never know if anxiety gets severe as the time passes. So share it with someone elder than you so that you have some proper guidance.
  2. Get a checkup– It is important to get a check up at initial stage of this disorder so that it doesn’t grow inside your body.
  3. Get regular exercise, good nutrition, and sleep– Make sure you aretaking out time for any physical activity, having proper diet as well sleep. Good sleeps helps in reducing stress and ultimately results in calming down your anxiety. Physical activites like exercise, dancing, walking can help in calming down anxiety because as much as you pressurize yourself physically, your mental health gets a relief.
  4. Educate yourself– Sometimes, when you don’t know much about a situation, you are more likely to take false alarms. It is very important for you to know that what are the actually symptoms of anxiety, how severe are they with you and in what situations.

Eat – Sleep – Exercise – REPEAT…

**Stay Healthy Stay Fit with more articles on Health and Fitness

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