Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, for some teens, anxiety can become a chronic problem that interferes with their daily lives.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. It can be caused by a variety of things, such as stress, fear, or uncertainty. Anxiety can also be a symptom of a mental health condition, such as an anxiety disorder.

How is anxiety different in teens?

The signs and symptoms of anxiety can vary significantly between teens and adults, as each age group may express their anxiety in distinct ways. Teenagers may experience anxiety differently as they are facing unique challenges and developmental milestones. Social anxiety becomes more prevalent during adolescence, and teens may exhibit symptoms like avoiding social situations, feeling self-conscious around others, or fearing judgment and scrutiny. Additionally, academic pressures can trigger performance-related anxiety, leading to worry and stress about schoolwork, tests, and future prospects.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety in teens?

The signs and symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person. However, some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Fear or worry that is out of proportion to the situation
  • Physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, headaches, or nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Avoidant behavior, such as avoiding social situations or school
  • Irritability or anger
  • Trouble sleeping

Causes of anxiety in teens

The causes of anxiety in teens are not fully understood. However, there are a number of factors that can contribute to anxiety, including:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Stress
  • Medical conditions, such as thyroid problems or diabetes

How to help teens cope with anxiety

There are a number of things that parents can do to help their teen cope with anxiety. These include:

  • Talk to your teen about their anxiety. Let them know that it is okay to feel anxious and that you are there to help them.
  • Help your teen develop coping mechanisms. This could include relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, or activities that they enjoy, such as reading or listening to music.
  • Seek professional help if needed. If your teen’s anxiety is severe or interfering with their daily life, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can help your teen understand their anxiety and develop coping mechanisms.

Tips for Parents

  • Create a calm and supportive environment. This means providing a safe and predictable environment where your child feels comfortable talking about their feelings.
  • Be patient and understanding. It takes time for teens to learn how to cope with anxiety.
  • Encourage your child to talk about their feelings. Let them know that you are there to listen and that you care and value their perspective.


I have seen firsthand how anxiety can impact teens. It can disrupt their daily lives, making it difficult to focus on school, friendships, and other activities. I know that anxiety can be a scary and isolating experience, but I also know that it is treatable.

If you are a parent concerned about your teen’s anxiety, I encourage you to reach out to me for a 20-minute phone consultation about anxiety therapy. I use evidence-based therapy coupled with mindfulness techniques to not only treat the symptoms of anxiety but to establish new thinking patterns that will reinforce habits. I believe that everyone deserves to feel happy and healthy, and am passionate about helping teens overcome their anxiety. Please click below to schedule a consultation.

I am here to help.

Go Mindful Counseling

Go Mindful Counseling offers compassionate and effective phone therapy and online therapy for anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, stress, insomnia, and addictive behaviors (see the website for the full list of treatment options).  We provide cognitive behavioral therapy through in-person sessions, online video conferencing, and phone. Click below to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.

Margie Ahern
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