Why Are Teenagers So Prone to Anxiety?


Larkin Flemming, Staff Writer

An estimated 32 percent of Americans struggle with anxiety, and 8 to 10 percent of teenagers struggle with some variation of an anxiety disorder, making it the most common disorder among teens. Anxiety represents feelings of unease and distress that can be induced for tons of varying reasons. As well as adults, there are many things that can induce anxiety in teenagers. With sports, school, chores, and extracurricular activities, adolescents tend to become very overwhelmed which can cause panic. While anxiety disorders are not rare, they can still be prevented and/or lessened with certain treatments.

There are different forms of anxiety such as social anxiety, separation anxiety, and phobias; all of which can negatively impact day-to-day tasks as a constant distraction.  As previously mentioned, anxiety can be induced by numerous reasons including bullying, past trauma, genetics, high expectations, parental pressure, hormones, substance use, etc. Anxiety can also look different in various people. Some physical signs of anxiety include zoning out, stuttering sweating, crying, hot flashes, and restlessness. If you see a friend or loved one experiencing these symptoms, it may be a wise idea to help them to relax and recommend some support. In the article, Mclean states that anxiety can happen to a person, at any time in their life; there is not always a direct cause either.

For teenagers, high school is a main source of anxiety. With high expectations from parents and compact schedules, lots of children have a high probability of developing some sort of anxiety disorder by the time they reach their high school years. With sports, school, extracurriculars, and household chores it is inevitable that teens will develop this disorder. Many high school students feel stressed with the number of things they need to complete in such a limited time. There are only so many hours in a day. Many students also fear disapproval from their parents and therefore put an enormous amount of stress and anxiety on schoolwork.

It is also important to distinguish anxiety disorders from other known stressors that are common among teenagers. Stress, for example, is not the same thing as having a diagnosed anxiety disorder. Unlike anxiety, stress is typically short-term and is caused by something at the moment. Whereas anxiety is something that may develop over time and stick with a person for a long time.

The article states that if anxiety is diagnosed earlier in life, it is much easier to treat. And most psychological disorders are diagnosed before the age of 25 which makes treatment much more helpful.  There are several different kinds of treatment options that may help a person become less anxious about certain things. These options include different kinds of therapy, medications, stress management, and support groups.

Though anxiety is a very common illness for adults and teens, it does not mean that it should be “brushed off” or not taken care of. This feeling of constant panic is something that many people undergo, yet should not have to. It is vitally important to look out for your loved ones and notice any symptoms or hints of anxiety and/or stress.