Study Finds a Gene Linked to Teen Anxiety

In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, researchers found a gene linked to why anxiety often forms and peaks in adolescence. With this new information, it may help develop new techniques for identifying teen anxiety and intervening earlier. Child and teen anxiety disorders, according to the NIH, have a lifetime prevalence among 25 percent of 13 to 18 year olds.

teen anxiety

Photo Credit: flickr user – Corey Balazowich

Red flags for teen anxiety

Though researchers are designing new ways to recognize teen anxiety disorders, it’s still a difficult task for parents to see the signs. It can be hard to discern the difference between anxiety and regular teenage angst or hormonal outbursts. Catching anxiety early can make an incredible difference in your child’s ability to deal with the disorder long-term. Some warning signs to keep an eye out for include:

  • Difficulty controlling emotions like nervousness or worry
  • Changed sleeping patterns
  • Issues focusing on anything except the future present
  • Frequent hyperventilation or panic attacks
  • Extreme trouble concentrating when worried
  • Avoidance of things that entice stress

Risks of your teen developing anxiety

There are many reasons your son or daughter may develop an anxiety disorder; it’s nearly impossible to control any of the factors. The only thing you can do as a parent is be there to recognize signs and offer support. Knowing if your teen is at a high risk or not can help you narrow down whether it’s a possibility or not. According to Mayo Clinic, the possibility of developing an anxiety disorder increases with:

  • Family with an anxiety disorder
  • Issues with substance abuse
  • Stress escalation, such as a life-changing event like moving
  • Trauma
  • Currently struggles with other disorders such as depression

Trails Carolina can help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students regularly deal with issues such as teen anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and more. We strive to help families mend and students move towards a brighter future.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps for troubled teens are dedicated to helping teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.