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Anxiety in Adolescents

Anxiety can be a challenging experience, especially for adolescents. Living in a world that is constantly changing can often leave teenagers feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, and powerless. While some anxiety is a normal part of growing up, it can lead to more severe emotional and mental health problems if not properly managed.

To help teenagers navigate their anxiety, it’s crucial to provide them with support and strategies to manage their emotions effectively. In this section, we will explore the importance of adolescent anxiety support and offer practical tips for creating a supportive environment that encourages healthy coping mechanisms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Adolescent anxiety is common, but it can lead to more severe emotional and mental health problems if not properly managed.
  • Providing support and strategies for adolescents is essential to help them navigate their anxiety.
  • Creating a supportive environment and encouraging healthy coping mechanisms can be helpful for managing anxiety in teenagers.
  • Professional intervention may be necessary in some cases, and a range of resources are available to support adolescents with anxiety.
  • With the right support and strategies, teens can learn to manage their anxiety effectively and lead fulfilling lives.

Understanding Adolescent Anxiety

Adolescence can be a stressful time, with many young people experiencing anxiety at some point. It’s important to understand the nature of adolescent anxiety to provide appropriate support and help teenagers cope.

Common causes of teenage anxiety include:

  • Academic pressures and expectations
  • Social anxiety and peer pressure
  • Family issues, such as divorce or financial problems
  • General life changes, such as moving or starting a new school
  • Mental health conditions, such as depression or PTSD

Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of adolescent anxiety often include:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Panic attacks

By recognizing the causes and symptoms of anxiety in adolescence, we can provide targeted support and help teenagers develop effective coping mechanisms. It’s crucial to create an environment where teenagers feel safe and supported as they navigate their anxiety.

Impact of Untreated Adolescent Anxiety

If left untreated, adolescent anxiety can worsen and have a detrimental effect on many aspects of a young person’s life, such as:

  • Academic performance
  • Social relationships
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • General quality of life

It’s essential to address adolescent anxiety early and effectively to prevent these negative outcomes.

Creating a Supportive Environment

When adolescents experience anxiety, they need a safe and supportive environment to help them cope. Creating such an environment starts with fostering open communication.

Encourage your teen to express their thoughts and feelings without judgment. When they feel heard and understood, it can help alleviate some of their anxiety. Listen attentively to what they’re saying and show empathy to let them know that what they’re going through is valid.

Building trust is also important in creating a supportive environment for an anxious teen. When they trust the people around them, they feel more secure and less anxious. Trust is built by keeping promises, being reliable, and being honest with them about what you can and can’t do to help.

Finally, it’s crucial to promote a sense of safety and belonging. Let your teen know that they’re loved and accepted unconditionally, regardless of their struggles with anxiety. This can be done by creating routines, being consistent in your behavior, and showing them affection and support.

Tip: Encourage teens to find social support, whether it’s through participating in group activities or talking to friends or family. Having a support system is crucial for managing anxiety.

Anxiety Support Groups

Support groups can be an excellent resource for teens with anxiety. They provide a safe space where teens can connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges and receive emotional support. Many organizations and online platforms offer anxiety support groups for teens, including:

Organization/Platform Description
Anxiety and Depression Association of America A nonprofit organization that offers anxiety support groups for teens and adults
Anxiety in Teens An online platform that provides information and resources for teens with anxiety, including a directory of anxiety support groups
National Alliance on Mental Illness A grassroots mental health organization that offers support groups for teens and adults with mental health conditions

Remember, creating a supportive environment for an anxious teen involves open communication, building trust, and promoting a sense of safety and belonging. By providing the right support, you can help your teen manage their anxiety and lead a fulfilling life.

Effective Anxiety Management Techniques

Managing anxiety can be challenging, especially for teenagers. However, there are several proven techniques that can help alleviate symptoms and promote overall wellbeing.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help calm the mind and reduce stress. Encourage teens to set aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness techniques.

2. Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation exercises, such as progressive muscle relaxation and visualization techniques, can also be helpful in managing anxiety. Consider suggesting a guided relaxation app or video to your teen.

3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety. Consider seeking out a qualified therapist who specializes in CBT to support your teenager.

4. Exercise

Exercise is a natural stress reliever and mood booster. Encourage your teenager to engage in regular physical activity to support their mental health and reduce their anxiety levels.

“Managing anxiety can be challenging, especially for teenagers. However, there are several proven techniques that can help alleviate symptoms and promote overall wellbeing.”

By incorporating these anxiety management techniques, teenagers can develop coping mechanisms and experience relief from their symptoms. It’s important to note that finding the right techniques may involve some trial and error, but with patience and persistence, your teen can find the strategies that work best for them.

Seeking Professional Help

While friends and family can be a great source of support, sometimes, adolescent anxiety treatment requires professional intervention. If your teenager is experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks or persistent worry, seeking help from a mental health professional is highly recommended.

  • Psychotherapy: This type of therapy involves talking about anxiety and other related issues with a licensed mental health professional. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be particularly effective in treating adolescent anxiety.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed in conjunction with therapy to manage symptoms of anxiety. However, medication should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
  • Hospitalization: In rare cases where anxiety has led to severe behavioral issues or suicidal ideation, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure the safety of the adolescent.

It’s essential to find a mental health professional who specializes in treating adolescent anxiety and who you and your teenager feel comfortable working with. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations from your healthcare provider or to check your insurance provider’s network for covered providers.

adolescent anxiety treatment

“It’s essential to find a mental health professional who specializes in treating adolescent anxiety and who you and your teenager feel comfortable working with.”

Resources for Adolescents with Anxiety

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, it’s essential to know that there are resources available to help. Here are some of the most valuable options:

Online Support Groups

Participating in an online support group can provide a sense of community and give teenagers the opportunity to share their experiences with others. offers a discussion forum specifically for teenagers dealing with anxiety. Likewise, Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) offers a free online discussion group.

Mobile Apps

There are various apps available to help teenagers cope with anxiety. For example, Headspace provides guided meditations and other relaxation exercises. Another app that can help adolescents identify and manage their symptoms is iChill.


Reading books about anxiety can provide teenagers with valuable insights and strategies for managing their anxiety. “The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens” by Jennifer Shannon and “Don’t Panic: A Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic Attacks” by Reid Wilson are two great options to consider.


If anxiety is significantly impacting a teenager’s daily life, seeking therapy is advisable. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective form of therapy for anxiety in adolescents. Psychology Today’s therapist directory can help you find licensed therapists in your area.

By using one or more of the resources above, adolescents with anxiety can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.


Adolescent anxiety can be a challenging experience, but with the right support and strategies, it can be managed effectively. By understanding the nature of anxiety in teenagers and creating an environment that supports them, we can help teenagers cope with anxiety in adolescence.

Effective anxiety management techniques such as mindfulness, relaxation exercises, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and seeking professional help can also be useful tools to alleviate anxiety symptoms.

It’s essential to remember that anxiety support for teens is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every teenager is different and may require unique forms of support.

Through this article, we have highlighted various resources available to support adolescents with anxiety. We hope that these resources, combined with the support and strategies discussed, can assist teenagers in finding relief from anxiety symptoms.

In conclusion, coping with anxiety in adolescence can be challenging, but with the right support, it’s possible to manage it. By providing adolescent anxiety support, we can help teenagers navigate their anxiety and lead more fulfilling lives.


What is adolescent anxiety?

Adolescent anxiety refers to excessive worry, fear, or nervousness experienced by teenagers. It can manifest in various ways, including physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, and emotional symptoms, like irritability or restlessness.

How can I support a teenager with anxiety?

Supporting a teenager with anxiety involves creating a safe and supportive environment. This includes listening attentively, validating their feelings, and encouraging open communication. It’s also important to help them develop healthy coping strategies and consider seeking professional help if necessary.

Are there any self-help techniques for managing teenage anxiety?

Yes, there are several self-help techniques to manage teenage anxiety. These strategies include practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, engaging in regular physical exercise, and practicing mindfulness and meditation.

When should I seek professional help for my anxious teenager?

It’s important to consider seeking professional help if your teenager’s anxiety significantly impacts their daily life, interferes with their relationships or school performance, or if they express thoughts of self-harm or suicide. A mental health professional can provide a proper assessment and recommend appropriate treatment options.

What are some resources available to help anxious adolescents?

There are various resources available to support anxious adolescents. Online support groups, where teenagers can connect with others who are going through similar experiences, can be helpful. Additionally, books, websites, and smartphone apps that provide anxiety management techniques and guidance can also be valuable resources.

Teen Anxiety: Signs, Symptoms, and Tips for Parents

Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Teen Anxiety: How to Recognize the Signs and Help Them Cope

Anxiety in Adolescents: Symptoms and Strategies for Coping

Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents (American Academy of Family Physicians)

Teen Anxiety: A CBT Workbook for Developing Coping Skills (Amazon book)

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