How Do I Know If My Teen Has Anxiety?

As a teenager, certain levels of stress and worry are quite common. Academic and social pressures can be intense while your teen is also learning about themselves and the world around them. However, excessive anxiety and worry is indicative of a mental health condition, and your teen may need help and support to cope. So how do you know if your teen has an anxiety disorder? Below are some types of anxiety disorders and symptoms to look out for.

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder describes individuals who worry excessively about a variety of topics such as family, friends, school and home life. They may push themselves too much to achieve and might constantly look for approval.

Panic Disorder

If your teen has frequent panic attacks, they might have a panic disorder. A panic attack is when someone has a sudden and often inexplicable series of intense physical symptoms. This could include dizziness, shortness of breath, increased heart rate or numbness, and is usually due to an overwhelming amount of anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when an individual tries to cope with overwhelming and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) with repetitive actions or habits (compulsions). Take note if your child appears to fixate on certain thoughts or completes actions in a continual and insistent manner.


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While children often have inexplicable or ungrounded fears, teens living with phobia anxiety have exaggerated concerns focused on a specific object or activity. This could result in limiting or avoiding certain activities.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This form of anxiety could occur as a result of your teen experiencing some form of trauma. Pay attention if you know your teen has lived through trauma and if they seem more worried or on edge as a result.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Your teen may have a social anxiety disorder if they have an intense and debilitating fear of social situations or instances where they need to perform. Examples of this could be being called on in school to answer a question, starting conversations or making new friends.

Seek Support

If your teen exhibits signs or symptoms of any of these forms of anxiety, seek help from your family doctor or a mental health professional. They will be able to offer suggestions on how to both address and cope with your teen’s anxiety.

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