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Anxiety and teens

Anxiety and teens

Posted: 17/03/2022

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Teenagers suffering from anxiety is a huge increasing problem in society that majorly impacts the quality of life for the person, their family and friends.  The National British Database records that, at present, 31.9% of teenagers are suffering with anxiety and the figure is undoubtedly much higher than recorded. After the last 2 years of the pandemic and now the unrest in the World this is rapidly rising.

As a mother of two teenage girls, I truly believe that social media is a massive contributing factor as it can create feelings of inadequacy and unrealistic expectations of their appearance and life’s achievements as well as judging popularity and comparing to others.  Having access to constant news, whether accurate or not, has a massive negative impact on teenage mental health.  It is important for us as parents/carers to be aware if our teenager is presenting with symptoms of anxiety so that we can assist and help them manage this as early as possible.

Signs/symptoms to look out for:

  • Irritability & restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Extremely self-conscious and sensitive
  • Not eating properly
  • Constant fears and worries about routine daily life
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance use
  • Avoiding new situations
  • Constant complaints of stomach or headaches
  • Repeated reassurance seeking
  • Rapid heartbeat & shortness of breath

Treatment and how to help:

  • Mindfulness/meditation
  • Reducing time on social media
  • Praise, encouragement and reassurance daily
  • Exercise: physical and relaxation
  • Good sleep routines
  • Aromatherapy, reflexology, massage, acupuncture, holistic treatments
  • Therapy
  • Writing
  • Self-help books
  • Time with animals
  • Talking
  • Medication (if required)

Always reach out to a health professional should you be concerned regarding your teenager’s mental health or well-being.

There is a huge amount of helpful resources and advice available.

Anxiety that is chronic or interferes with a person’s ability to function warrants treatment.  Left untreated it can get worse severely affecting a person’s quality of life.