ANXIETY FREE WORLD
Anxiety is the body’s normal reaction to stress or danger, however some teenage girls experience high levels of anxiety that may lead to depression or worse.
Anxious feelings, worries, or fears are common among children and adolescents but according to studies teen girls suffer from high levels of anxiety 20% more than teen boys. Anxiety might be felt as jittery, a sick stomach, excessive worry, headaches, insomnia, nightmares, or general feelings of not feeling well. But anxiety becomes a problem when it’s out of proportion to the situation, and interferes with a person’s ability to function.
An overly anxious teen might withdraw from activities because she’s too scared or anxious, and her anxiety doesn’t go away with reassurance from anyone. An anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive or irrational fears. If your teen seems as if she might be struggling with anxiety disorder, rest assured that she is not alone. Anxiety disorders are a rising concern within the pediatric population. A large, national survey of adolescent mental health reported that about 8 percent of teens ages 13–18 have an anxiety disorder and they are predicting it to continue to rise.
When to look for help:
> SOCIAL CHANGES. Suddenly avoiding social contacts–refusing to go to overnights, parties, or school.
> SUDDEN DROP IN GRADES. Anxiety makes it difficult to follow a teacher’s instructions.
> OCD-LIKE SYMPTOMS. Checking and rechecking the door to make sure it is locked or arranging objects “just so.”
> PHOBIAS. Fearing spiders, thunderstorms, or the dark, as she did when she was a little girl.
> SUBSTANCE ABUSE. Smoking, drinking, or experimenting with illegal drugs
> Other signs of anxiety can include nail biting, being scared easily, extra hard on herself, very angry and irritable.
If you think your teen suffers from abnormal levels of anxiety or a possible anxiety disorder, please get a diagnosis from a professional. Start with your teens doctor. Understand that these disorders are highly treatable and with therapy and possibly medication, your teen can learn to relax and enjoy life again.
Learn what anxiety and depression looks like in teens and what you can do to help. Many people who develop depression have a history of an anxiety disorder earlier in life. There is no evidence one disorder causes the other, but there is clear evidence that many people suffer from both disorders. So do what you can now to help your teen get through this tough time in her life.
Talk to your child about how to recognize when she is feeling anxiety, and how it makes her feel. Try to spend some extra time with her and teach her to think of herself as empowered instead of hopeless. In a culture that has shifted its emphasis away from meaning and relationships, maybe the benefits of time and communication would be able to have a lasting impact not just with your child, but also with future generations to come.
A world without anxiety, fear, sadness and depression and all of the bad that goes along with it is my wish for the world…my wish for the week.
Marlton NJ Chapter