It is not uncommon for adolescents and teenagers to suffer from anxiety. It’s usual for them to feel a bit anxious from time to time as they are just on the threshold of facing the real world. Anxiety comes as a natural reaction to stress during these times. However, for some, anxiety turns out to be quite distressful. Intense level of anxiety is a serious mental issue. Here are a few things about adolescent anxiety:
1. Adolescent anxiety is of many types. However, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common form of anxiety disorder in adolescents. It is an uncontrollable and intense anxiety related to multiple issues, situation, and objects. From their future to how people perceive them, teens suffering from GAD feel anxious about everything.
2. Other types of common adolescent anxiety disorders include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and general phobias.
3. Anxiety affects an adolescent both mentally and physically. During a panic attack, a teen can experience shortness of breath, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness.
4. An adolescent usually develops phobias as a result of traumatic experience. Phobias are much more than simply a fear of something or any particular situation. Adolescents suffering from phobias feel nervous and intense fear when confronted by the stimuli that trigger the fear. For instance, a teen might be afraid of height or enclosed space or an insect.
5. It is wrong to think that only war veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Though this is more common in adults and war veterans but adolescents also suffer from this. PTSD occurs when a teen witnesses or experiences a traumatic incident. This heightens their awareness to the situation and they feel increased stress. The symptoms include flashbacks of the event, panic attacks. A teen who has experienced traumatic events such as assault or abuse, natural disaster, and domestic violence can develop PTSD.
6. About 2 to 3% of the adolescents and children suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Teens who suffer from OCD experience intrusive thoughts that make them repeat an action or a ritual repetitively in response to those intrusive thoughts. For instance, an adolescent might be afraid of contamination and as a result, he/she might engage in excessive cleaning rituals.
7. Manias are closely associated with OCDs. For instance, a teen obsessed with his/her hair or looks often change their appearance.
8. Adolescents who suffer from anxiety are prone to depression. They are always concerned about the intrusive thoughts and images and thus, lose interest in doing things they enjoy. They are always worried and anxious. They become less interested in spending time with friends, thus, becoming more depressed.
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