Teenage Anxiety | Teen Ink

Teenage Anxiety

April 22, 2009
By Julia Legrand BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
Julia Legrand BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In today’s busy world, many people are always hurrying to get things finished and are always pressed for time. People are always on the go and never seem to have time to relax anymore. These factors, along with many others, lead to anxiety. Most people only have anxiety every now and then, but there are some who are always anxious or under stress. It can prevent people from enjoying their life because they are always worried about everything. In fact, it is estimated that about thirteen percent of the U.S. population has anxiety disorders; therefore, anxiety disorders are very common. Anxiety disorders are even common amongst teenagers.

There are many reasons as to why teenagers have anxiety disorders. They can be caused by a number of things, such as genetics, learned behavior, life circumstances, and brain biochemistry. For example, a person who has a family member with a high level of anxiety is more likely to develop an anxiety disorder. Family members can also affect anxiety levels of a teenager if they give the perception that the world is a scary and fearful place. This can cause a child to be afraid of the world, and most importantly, have problems with trust and reliance in the future. Moreover, teenagers can develop anxiety from other teenagers. Peer pressure is an evident example that coincides with social anxiety disorder, which is a disorder in which a teenager has fear of social situations. With this disorder, a teenager may be afraid to interact with other teenagers, participate in class, or meet new people. Another disorder may be Generalized anxiety disorder, otherwise known as GAD. GAD refers to constant worry about everyday events and situations. A person diagnosed with GAD will always worry about the possible bad events that could happen to himself, friends, or family members. Physical symptoms are also experienced when a person has GAD. Another well-known and common anxiety disorder is Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. People with OCD try to control the thoughts they have through actions. It is their way of relieving the anxiety the thoughts trigger. Usually the obsessions are unrealistic and could never happen. Other disorders include panic disorder, Posttraumatic Stress disorder, and phobias.

Luckily, anxiety disorders are treatable. A visit to a psychiatrist or psychologist could tell a teenager all about his disorder. Treatments include medications, although they are rarely used, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and relaxation. However, some teenagers do not follow the treatments and turn to drugs and alcohol, which are not good choices because they are dangerous and lead people to believe that they actually work. With the proper treatment, a teenager’s anxiety can easily and slowly be eased.

I think that teenage anxiety is something that needs more attention. Society is not aware of just how serious anxiety is to teenagers. Not only can it affect our daily social and physical lives, but it can cause depression and suicide, which are sadly common, especially after traumatic events, such as Hurricane Katrina and September 11th. People need to either place a less amount of stress on teenagers, or just simply live our lives at a slower pace. However, I do think that teenagers are somewhat responsible for their stressful lives. We are taking on more than we can handle and never seem to know when to stop. We teenagers need to learn how to manage our time and not overestimate our abilities. Life is something that should be enjoyed and cherished, not a troublesome burden.

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