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Signs of Anxiety in Teenagers

teen anxiety

Signs of Anxiety

Think back to when you were a teenager, and many of you will agree that it can be a very stressful and confusing time. A normal reaction to stress is anxiety, and with events such as public speaking, final exams, important sporting competitions, and going out on a date can cause stress levels to rise and anxiety to flourish.

How can a teenager cope with all these confusing and awkward feelings?

As a parent, you may think a grouchy teenager is normal. While it may be, you should also keep tabs on their behavior in case it becomes much more manic. Anxiety can cause people to act out in many different and unexpected ways, which is why it is crucial that you know the signs.

Read on for information on what you need to keep an eye on regarding a possible anxiety disorder.

Physical Signs of Anxiety

Your teenager might be complaining of frequent headaches or stomach aches, and no medical reason can be found for them. If your teenager changes their eating habits suddenly or refuses to eat in public places or the school cafeteria, this could be another sign of anxiety.

Have they started refusing to use restrooms when they’re not at home? Do they appear to be uneasy in intimidating situations and start to sweat or shake? Teenagers have a reputation for sleeping a lot, so if they’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, there could be a problem. What’s more, if your teenager is oversleeping, this can be because of anxiety and/or depression, too.

Emotional Signs of Anxiety

There are many different emotional signs of anxiety including crying often, becoming cranky or angry for no clear reason. A teenager’s confidence usually takes a knock but if they’re afraid of making even the smallest mistake, doubt their skills and abilities and can’t handle any kind of criticism, they could be struggling with anxiety. Phobias, panic attacks, nightmares, and obsessive thoughts or worries are also signs of anxiety.


Social Changes

If your teenager is feeling anxious, it can hurt their friendships. A teen who is normally outgoing and friendly could suddenly change and avoid social interactions with their friends, avoid extracurricular activities, isolate themselves from their peer group or spending an increasing amount of time alone. You should consider asking for help. Furthermore, your teenager may have changed who they hang around with, meaning they become friends with the wrong crowd. For instance, do they socialize with people who drink or take drugs so that they can dull the pain? If so, centers such as will also be able to help with any concerns you might have.

If your teen is showing the symptoms of struggling with anxiety and it’s interfering with school, friendships, family relationships and other areas of their daily life, it’s important you seek help and guidance from a mental health practitioner. Speak to your family doctor, and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Anxiety can be treated, and most teens are able to learn to cope with and manage it independently.