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Understanding Anxiety and Teens

teenage woman sitting on her bed and holding her head in her hands because she feels that understanding anxiety and teens is impossible

Teenagers and adolescents in American society today face unique stressors and pressure that many adults do not quite understand. They live in a fast-paced digital world of social media where every thought or action – theirs or their peers – can be put on display for praise or ridicule. While the desire to fit in or find a group of like-minded peers is familiar to anyone who was ever a teenager, today’s teenagers can go from popular to cyberbullied in days, if not hours. Anxiety and teens go hand-in-hand.

Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at one time or another. However, anxiety can become so intense that it interferes with daily activities for some people. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States, affecting 40 million adults.

Many parents fail to understand this digital dynamic and the role of teenage anxiety and assume their teen is simply “going through a phase” or being a “moody teenager.” This can result in their child not receiving professional help in an anxiety treatment program. The Clear Recovery Teen Program offers professional, compassionate outpatient care to teenagers and adolescents in Southern California. Call 866.522.2084 to learn more.

Types of Anxiety

While anxiety is normal, anxiety disorders are not. These disorders manifest in a variety of different ways, but they all interfere with a teen’s ability to function in everyday life. The most common types of anxiety in teenagers include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – Teens with GAD display excessive or persistent anxiety or worry about various topics such as school, friendships, family, and future events.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is when a teen has an intense fear of social situations, such as meeting new people, speaking in front of a group, or going to parties. In extreme cases, it may be difficult to leave the house and interact with others.
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder – This type of anxiety occurs when a teen experiences extreme fear or anxiety about being away from home or loved ones. The normal teen activities of sleepovers at a friend’s house or a school field trip become sources of extreme anxiety.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – OCD is characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in an effort to ease the anxiety caused by the obsessions. These ritual-like actions can make it challenging to manage time effectively or perhaps expose a teenager to ridicule if noticed by peers.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Common signs and symptoms of anxiety in teenagers include:

  • Excessive worry or nervousness
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep, restless sleep, or waking up feeling exhausted)

If your teenager is displaying any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to assess their mental health. Clear Recovery Center is adept at evaluating and treating mental health disorders, including anxiety, in teenagers and adolescents.

Treatment for Anxiety

Clear Recovery Center uses a comprehensive approach. Each level of care employs a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, case management, multi-family therapy, monthly family sessions, and psychiatry. Some of the evidence-based modalities offered in our teen outpatient program include::

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT is a type of therapy that helps patients identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of modified CBT that focuses on helping patients regulate their emotions.
  • Somatic therapy – Somatic therapy is a body-centered therapy that can help patients become more aware of the mind-body connection and how it affects their anxiety.
  • Art therapy – Art therapy is an expressive therapy that uses art-making to help patients process and express their thoughts and feelings.
  • Dance and movement therapy – Dance and movement therapy allows clients to explore their movement capabilities and find an emotional connection through dance expression.

The Clear Recovery Teen Program offers all of these treatment options and more for anxiety in teenagers.

Reach Out to Clear Recovery Teen Program Today

The Clear Recovery Teen Program is designed to get teenagers and adolescents in Southern California the help they need. With locations in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, they provide effective, evidence-based treatment for all types of anxiety.

If you are concerned that your teenager may be suffering from anxiety, please call us at 866.522.2084 to speak with a professional about our teen anxiety treatment programs.