Understanding the Struggles of Anxiety in Teens

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Many people underestimate how common mental illness is within the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the country—approximately 18 percent of Americans have some form of the disorder. This is no different for youth.

Anxiety in teens is just as prevalent as anxiety disorders are in adults. As a teen, understanding mental illness can be extremely difficult. Teens are still identifying who they are, dealing with anxiety in teens makes that even more difficult. A recent article by Bustle discussed what it’s really like to live with anxiety in teens.

Struggles Associated with Anxiety in Teens

Everyone’s experience with anxiety in teens is different, the symptoms that manifest and the severity may not be the same for each person. Here are some of the struggles that many people suffer with when dealing with anxiety in teens.

  1. Knowing your thoughts are irrational doesn’t change how you feel. When dealing with anxiety in teens, many individuals are aware that their thoughts driving their anxiety are irrational. Having that understanding doesn’t stop them from still feeling anxious. One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with an anxiety disorder is knowing that certain fears are irrational—but not being able to apply this logic to thought processes and emotions.
  2. There are physical side effects. Similar to many mental illnesses, there are physical symptoms that accompany the mental disorders. Common symptoms of anxiety in teens include, a racing heart, headaches, muscle tension, nausea, and shortness of breath. When people with anxiety experience these feelings, it makes it even more difficult to calm down or be rational. Overall, even at a moderately low level, these symptoms can make living with anxiety in teens overwhelming and can even seem impossible.
  3. Your mind is constantly racing. Anxiety in teens often intensifies as time is leading up to a stressful event, like an important test, college applications, or even a social gathering. The worrying associated with anxiety in teens often causes insomnia. It can be extremely difficult to control your mind from racing with worrisome thoughts.

If you or your child are experiencing issues with anxiety in teens, there are programs available that can help.

Trails Carolina Can Help


Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.

For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today.


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