Anxiety is Hitting Our Students Hard

June 7, 2018

Anxiety is Hitting Our Students Hard

Today’s students are stressed and filled with anxiety. With reports of terrorists, school shootings, cyber bullying and pressure from school and home, reports of adolescents with anxiety disorders have reached epic proportions. In 2016, TIME Magazine reported “2 million [teenagers] experiencing depression impairing daily function.” If you are a parent with a troubled teen, you are not alone. Get the information you need so you can help them now.


What is Teen Anxiety?

1. Panic Attack – Sudden debilitating attack of fear and the preoccupation of subsequent occurrences.

2. Social Anxiety – Fear of being judged or rejected by peers in social situations or during a performance.


Additionally, depression or persistent sadness and hopelessness and a lack of desire to engage in any activities including hobbies. For youth ages to 24 years, suicide is the leading cause of death.

Anxiety can have concurring physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, shortness of breath, heart palpitations.


Biological and Societal Factors of Anxiety

Anxiety is a concern for adults. However, with teens the condition and consequences are more severe.

Adolescence is a time when the rational part of a teen’s brain is still growing. Teens process data with the amygdala, or part responsible for controlling emotions. The limbic (nerves and network system)and cortical brain is sensitive to stress. Brain maturation of the brain won’t happen until after the age of 25.

A teen’s sense of identify is greatly defined by their peers. They are self-conscious about their bodies and fashionable clothing. They want to fit in.


They do not show as much affection toward their parents. As they seek independence, they question their parent’s values and beliefs and the status of the community. When stressed, teens can rebel and revert to childish actions.


Discussing Anxiety With Your Teen

If you are a parent of a teen experiencing anxiety, you might not be aware of the common signs of the disorder. Maybe you think that your son or daughter’s mood swings are temporary. You may have also consulted with his primary doctor, coach, teacher or clergy.

Perhaps you have mentioned it and your teen assured you that it was not a problem. Denial is a common reaction. Most teens consider stress and alcohol or drug use as normal. They rationalize that everyone else gets high.


Signs of Teen Anxiety

However, multiple signs exhibited for more than two weeks are cause for concern. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry lists the following symptoms.

– Unable to handle problems and daily tasks

– Difficulty paying attention

– Acting out sexually

– Drinking and using drugs

– Sleep disturbances

– Changes in eating habits (eating more or less than usual).

– Mention of sadness or suicidal thoughts

– Inflicting injury to self


Adolescent Anxiety and Problems at School

A decline in performance at school is a major indicator of anxiety. Child Mind reports, “When kids are anxious in the classroom, they might have a hard time focusing on the lesson and ignoring worried thoughts…”

Some students may not appear to be sad or anxious. Teachers may misinterpret their behavior and consider them to be trouble makers. Other teens experience fatigue or lethargy that may be incorrectly perceived as laziness.

Psychology Today said, “The goal is to help children begin focusing on what they can control. Storytelling and mindful breathing are highly effective.


Solutions to Teen Anxiety

Other medical conditions such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can mimic the same symptoms of GAD. An examination by a medical professional is required.


About Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center is a rehabilitation facility specializing in mental health and behavioral health for adolescents. Our inpatient facility also assists teens with alcohol and drug abuse.

Our doctor’s can assess your teen’s individual needs to determine if prescription medication is necessary. Our licensed counselors provide individual, family, and group therapy.

We offer nutrition plans, exercise, proper sleep, and social interaction. So if you need help with your teen’s anxiety disorder, don’t wait. Call Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center today at 800-275-1707.