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Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder Growing Among Teens

Is anxiety affecting anyone you know? (Ale Pacheco a senior at DVC)

Is anxiety affecting anyone you know? (Ale Pacheco a senior at DVC)

Kaelen Tynes, Staff Writer

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High school is full of stressful moments, everything from trying to pick out the right outfit for the day to getting the grade you need to pass a class. When teens try to impress their teachers, parents, and peers, it builds tension which causes a great deal of stress and fear. The National Institute of Mental Health states that 25.1% of teenagers from 13 to 18 years old suffer from a form of anxiety disorder.

According to Elements Behavioral Health, around 7 million people suffer from the general anxiety disorder with around 15 million suffering from social anxiety disorder. Census.gov shows the human population in the United States is around 326,273,745, and more than 3,000,000 of the people in our population are suffering from some form of anxiety, according to Mayo Clinic.

Teens can develop a sense of fear that they can’t keep up with everyone or what is going on around them. Usually, if teens have any of the following symptoms or emotions that are mentioned beyond this point, they may discover that they have a form of anxiety disorder.   

Lisa Chester Schyman, a therapist with a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University, has a strong opinion on anxiety in high schools.

“Anxiety is huge in high school, it’s an epidemic,” Schyman said. “There’s a lot of pressure at this time and social media pushes anxiety.’’

Since popular media platforms provoke negative themes, youth tend to develop unrealistic ideals for themselves. It’s difficult for teens to withstand this social pressure when they feel as if they can’t be the user of the account with a million followers with a “perfect” face and body.

As for the way the school system affects the teen body, Schyman commented, “Teens have to get up early to get to school and that affects the teenage body system because of the chemical melatonin.”

Since teenage bodies produce melatonin, which helps us sleep, when school interferes with normal sleep patterns, teenagers are extremely exhausted in the morning. The lack of sleep affects the teen brain because it can cause a production deficiency in melatonin.

For most, being in a social situation may be uncomfortable, but for those suffering anxiety disorder, they may be feeling the worst feeling of fear they’ve ever felt. Before or during the time of socialization, many thoughts would go through their head.

Noel Ingram, the 10th grade English teacher at Da Vinci Communications said, “I tend to get really anxious about performing really well on things or letting people down, I tend to catastrophize which is a cognitive error where I’ll go from one little thing to something really extreme, which isn’t a logical jump.”

These are known as “unwanted thoughts”. Unwanted thoughts are common with most types of anxiety disorders. Those with anxiety are not able to control these thoughts, and they can be tormenting to the person’s conscience. In some situations, the victim could feel intense self-doubt or have a rush of negative thoughts that are uncontrollable. These thoughts could make it uncomfortable to socialize because they will constantly undermine you and tell you that you aren’t enough for everyone. With other disorders such as OCD, these thoughts can be violent or harmful and could also become obsessions.

There are numerous variations of anxiety disorder such as general anxiety, social anxiety, separation anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even phobias. The most common is a social anxiety disorder, in which someone may feel as if it’s impossible to make social contact with many people or a select few.

Ingram explained the many ways that she was able to manage her disorder by doing things such as going to therapy and taking care of her mental health.

“I worked really hard to manage my anxiety by going to therapy, I’ve done a lot of CBT which is cognitive behavioral therapy, practicing mindfulness, meditating every day, I journal, I do a lot of different things to try to help me recognize I’m not having those thoughts and be able to stop them from getting way out of control.”

Those with any of these disorders should look into getting as much help possible. There are different types of therapy that are offered such as group therapy and one on one, there is also exposure therapy for people with different phobias. With many types of therapy, there are many ways for people to get the help they need.

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder Growing Among Teens”

  1. Monica on December 1st, 2017 10:03 am

    I think this is a really serious topic.

    [Reply]

  2. Deepti on December 1st, 2017 10:05 am

    Kaelen, well done! A well-written article that communicates the struggle that people with anxiety live with every day.

    [Reply]

  3. Lionel Quintanilla on December 1st, 2017 10:07 am

    I appreciate how you mentioned how people can suffer from different kinds of anxiety. While people are familiar with the more common forms like social anxiety and PTSD, there are still other forms that people are unaware of that need recognition.

    [Reply]

  4. Elena Marin on December 1st, 2017 10:09 am

    Opens up my mind more about anxiety.

    [Reply]

  5. Ula on December 1st, 2017 2:24 pm

    I really enjoy your article, its filled with alot of important information on a serious topic that everyone can relate to

    [Reply]

  6. James Skinner on December 1st, 2017 2:55 pm

    I like how you found good information on anxiety and displayed it.

    [Reply]

  7. Chris on December 2nd, 2017 9:39 pm

    Amazing article. Great insight!

    [Reply]

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