Anxiety is the number one mental illness that teens are diagnosed with in the United States, and ten percent of teens are diagnosed with anxiety in the US alone (11 Facts). If ten percent of teens in the United States suffer from anxiety, then roughly four million teens in the U.S. are suffering from this mental illness.
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It is a mental illness that can be treatable and managed with the help from psychologists, parents, and doctors, but only one out of five teens receive treatment of any kind (11 Facts). That sistic is devastating for teens in the U.S. Anxiety is one of those mental health illnesses that can be minor or very major. Anxiety in a teen’s life can be triggered by multiple different stimuluses that include: situational or daily pressure of any kind, social media, phobias etc.
Anxiety comes with a variety of side effects that can bring harm to a teen’s life, like panic attacks and trouble breathing. Panic attacks and trouble breathing are side effect that most teens feel when they are very overwhelmed or feel as if they are not able to control situations or their own emotions (Dough 3). Parents and psychologists play a large role in helping teens get through and survive their anxiety and its side effects. Anxiety is a problem many teens from the U.S suffer from on a daily basis, but it is all about the teen seeking help, identifying the root cause of their anxiety, and ways for the teen to understand the side effects.
With almost all anxiety in a teen’s life, there is a root source that causes the mental illness to take place. A lot of teens have anxiety because of something known has PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Teens who have gone through flashbacks, survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, car accidents, or natural disasters will experience some form of PTSD, which is a form of severe anxiety (Facts 11). A teenage boy who might of been physically abused by his father may hesitant to be near his mom’s new husband because he is afraid of being abused again by another man. PTSD is quite common in adolescents. Researcher say that more than 40% of teens and adolescents will experience some sort of PTSD in their early years of life (Smith 1).
A large aspect of teenage anxiety is Social Media. Social Media can be used for positivity, but it also can produce an abundance of negative content in a teen’s life. Most teen’s confide too much on social media. When they look through platforms they might show a post of a friend’s birthday party that they were not invited to, and the feeling of being left out can cause anxiety (Shafer 1) . These teens will start to question if they are excellent enough, nice enough, pretty enough, or even cool enough for their so called friends. They also find pressure to get enough likes on a picture and even comments to feel loved. Teens can develop anxiety over things that get posted about them which they have absolutely no control over (Shafer 1). Social media plays a large role in the society, especially in the present generation, where social media is so popular.
One of the largest sources of anxiety in a teens life is the teen’s parents or legal guardians. Most parents do not understand the effect they can have on their child’s life, but they can definitely play a role in their child’s or teen’s anxiety disorder. Parents, whether they mean to or not, put a lot of pressure on their children(Morin 1). Parents can sometimes set unrealistic expectations as well (Pietro 1). Parents might tell their teen that they are the best volleyball player ever or even the best student in the sophomore class. These can be unrealistic expectations that create pressure on the child, which can in turn cause anxiety because the they need to be the best according to their parent or legal guardian (Morin 1). Parents can contribute to a teens anxiety whether they notice or not. Finding the cause of the anxiety helps the teen understand what might be the right mechanism to help control their anxiety.
After figuring out the cause of the teen’s anxiety, the next thing the teen’s needs to figure out with the help from therapists and parents is how to seek help with the anxiety struggles they face on a day to day bases. Parents play a huge role in helping teens today. There are parents who completely disregard that their teen could be suffering from severe anxiety, and they might even tell the teen to suck it up and stop overreacting (Pietro 1) . On the other end of the spectrum there are parents that find it better to keep their teen in hiding and not expose them at all to situations that might cause a bit of anxiety (Morin 1). When parents help a teen avoid the things they are afraid of, it only will benefit the child in the short term, but it will reinforce the anxiety for long term (Pietro 1). Both of these mechanisms are the wrong way to go about helping teens work through their anxiety and fears.
Parents are encouraged not necessarily focus on eliminating the teens anxiety, but to help their teen learn how to manage the anxiety in different situations (Pietro 1) . Being well aware of their teens struggles with the disorder, it will help the parent be more aware of what’s going on in the teen’s life and begin to understand how to parent in the most beneficial ways possible (Pietro 1). When a situation comes up that might make the teen uncomfortable, rather than telling them that everything is going to go perfectly, parents will express to their teen that whatever happens, it will be okay, and they will make it through the situation with a little encouragement and courage (Pietro 1). It is extremely encouraging to know that their parents support them and want to help. Adult validation is all a teen could ask for when suffering from a mental disorder.
Therapist and the right kind of meds will help show major improvement with a teen suffering from anxiety (Managing 2). Only one third of people suffering from anxiety see or get treatment (Managing 2). Anxiety is very treatable if a teen seeks out the right medical attention. Teens who get help from a weekly or even a monthly therapist find that their anxiety is more in control and that by seeing a therapists they have been able to experience and enjoy life more (Managing 1).
Anxiety is an illness and it needs to be treated by a doctor just like having heat disease or even diabetes . According to Dr. Peter Roy-Byrne: Medication treatment of anxiety is generally safe and effective. But it often takes time and patience to find the drug that works best for you(Roy-Byrne 1). Medicine is usually followed up by a behavioral therapy. There are a wide range in medication that a teen can take if struggling with anxiety the list includes: SSRI, SNRI, Tricyclic antidepressant, and Benzodiazepine (Rory-Byrne 1). Teens that suffer from severe anxiety usually seek medical attention through psychotherapy and medications. Patients respond better to a combination to both treatments (Dough 3). A therapists and a psychiatrist will get the patient the help they need through medical attention as well as therapeutic help (Managing 2). If a teen wants to seek help than reaching out to a therapists is the right decision.
There are many side effects of teens who struggle with anxiety some that include the following: Anxiety leads to clinical depression, physical effects to the teens body, and isolation from the outside world. Anxiety can a lot of times be linked with depression in teens. Anxiety is a big deal in itself. When children suffer from both anxiety and depression it could be very unhealthy and can leave a negative impact on a teen’s mental and physical state (11 Facts). Teen anxiety is already a problem in the U.S. today, but when depression is mixed into the equations things can get worse. People nowadays believe mental illness can just go away on their own, but what they are not aware of is that they can actually lead to other problematic disorders in teens. Some anxiety that goes untreated leads to developing into other mental disorder like depression (Dough 3). On the outside some see a teen struggling with anxiety, but on the inside the teen could be struggling with a lot more than it might seem. A vast majority of teens who do suffer from anxiety show symptoms of more than one disorder (Dough 3). Teenagaers and adolocents are encougade to seek help when struggling or else their anxiety could lead to other mental health disorders. Not only does anxiety take a large toll on someone’s mental state, it also takes a toll on their physical state.
With anxiety sometimes it comes with a wide range of physical health issues. Common health issue that comes with teen’s who suffer anxiety quite frequently are panic attacks/anxiety attacks. Some that suffer from anxiety will not experience the full anxiety attack, but could show some symptoms of a panic attack. The different side effects from a panic attack include: fast heart beat, swearing, dizziness, upset stomach, difficulty breathing, chest pain,and numbness throughout the body (Hurley 2). When a teen suffers mentally with a disorder that is already hard enough on the child’s body, but when the disorders starts to take a physical punch on the teens body it takes the disorder to a whole new level. Other physicals changes can occur in a adolescents body when they battle with anxiety. Some of the major physical changes can entail: Frequent headaches, gastrointestinal problems, unexplained aches, excessive fatigue, complaints of not feeling will with no obis medical cause , and an abnormal change in a teens eating habits (Hurley 1). Adolescents that are in a constant battle with anxiety suffer some terrible sleep patterns and behaviors. A teen will find it difficult sleeping or even falling asleep at night. Some serve effects like frequent night terrors and nightmares. These side effects will leave the teen feeling tired and not well rested throughout their day (Hurley 1). Physical and mental health issues should not be taken lightly when a teen is struggling. Physical health is not the only effect that anxiety damages. It also can create isolation from the outside world in an adolescents life.
Teens struggling with anxiety have a hard time hiding it sociologically. Teens that suffer from severe anxiety will start to avoid interactions they once loved. They will start to take astep back and isolate themselves from peer groups they are comfortable with as well as start to spend and increasingly time alone. Research shows that adolescents will be more withdrawn of social interactions with the captives they were once very much engaged in (Hurley 1). Social isolation is a big red flag if seen in an adolents, especially if the teen used to be very social and involved in many actives. Teen’s will not only start to disconnect to social interactions, but a some teens will start to check out of school mentally. Some parents will start to see a decrease in their child’s school work with their child not turning homework in frequently or their child constantly having a hard time concentrating on homework assignments more than usual (Hurley 1). Social isolation and a loss interest in education are side effects of teens who might struggle with anxiety.
Teen anxiety must be brought out of the darkness and into the light. Millions of teens suffer from all types of anxiety disorders in the U.S. alone (11 Facts). The society needs encourage school systems and parents to bring light on a disorder that is look down upon. Teen’s need to be taught the right mechanisms when dealing with stress in real life. In Today’s society it is very much emphasized that kids need to be taught all the importance of academics. Even through teaching teens academics is very important, but school and parents need to put full effort into teaching kids emotional life skills as well (Morin 1). Anxiety is a mental disorder than can not be ignored any longer. With teens starting to reach out and located where there anxiety comes from then teens can start to understand the importance of getting help before their side effect of their anxiety increase at a rapid rate. Teen anxiety is a mental health disorder that is effecting so many lives all across the world that it is time to raise awareness of the sickness and continue to find new ways to reach out to teens and lend them a hand in helping them live the best possible life hopefully anxiety free.
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