Understanding the Struggles of Anxiety in Teens

anxiety 1156225 1280 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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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: https://trailscarolina.com/common-ground-podcast/ With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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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.