Social anxiety is real.

Anxiety disorders are more than temporary worry or fear. They involve anxiety that doesn’t go away and can get worse over time. And a lot of teenagers deal with it. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 people between the ages of 13 and 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. In fact, it’s the most common mental health condition among that age range.

What's causing it?

Genetics and biology play a big role. Also, adverse childhood events or trauma can cause anxiety. But here are some other factors:

Fear & uncertainty of the world around us

We’ve all lived through a lot of big things over the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everything around us. Civil and racial issues came to the fore. Political instability and fighting—both here at home and abroad—erupted. And violent incidents like school shootings continue.

High expectations to succeed

School, sports and hobbies are all good things. But sometimes they create burdens that are hard to bear—especially if we feel like our futures depend on excelling at them, or that our worth is wrapped up in them.

Social media pressure

In today’s modern world, we’re almost hardwired to treat views, likes and follows as indicators of who we are. It’s easy to compare our postings with other people’s and feel like we fall short.

What are some types of anxiety?

Generalized anxiety disorder

Excessive worry most days for at least six months about a number of things related to everyday life

Panic disorder

Sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and unexpectedly or by triggers and usually result in physiological effects like a rapid heartrate, sweating, shortness of breath or shaking

Social anxiety disorder

General intense fear of social or performance situations

Agoraphobia

Intense fear of spatial situations, such as being outside the home, being in line or using public transportation

Separation anxiety disorder

Fear of being parted from a particular person

Specific phobias

Fear of specific objects or situations like flying, dogs, heights, etc.

What can it lead to?

If left untreated, chronic anxiety can lead to several problems across different areas of your life.

Social

Difficulty with school
Trouble being around people

Physical

Headaches
Chronic pain
Digestive problems
Heart disease

Mental

Depression
Substance use
Suicide

How can you get help?

The good news is anxiety disorders are highly treatable. But unfortunately, according to the Anxiety and Depression of America, 80% of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder aren’t getting treatment. Use the resources below to learn more about therapy, and then take steps to talk to a medical professional if needed.

Guide yourself through therapy options

Learn about cognitive behavioral therapy

Easy things you can do to curb anxiety

Get information about anxiety

Get Help

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