Teenage Anxiety – It’s Increasing in America
Anxiety and depression are very real issues that affect many different people. One demographic that suffers greatly is teenagers. Teenagers are already more susceptible to such issues due to their changing hormones. These changes in life can be hard. Add them to anxiety and depression, and you can have some big problems. These issues can lead to bigger issues such as addiction. They even affect the teen suicide rates. This is a scary topic for many parents.
Even scarier is the reality that anxiety and depression in teenagers is on the rise in the United States. There are many things that may cause this. In many cases, it is more than just one issue. Some think that the increased demands on teenagers in the academic setting is a contributing factor. Other people believe that social media is a big factor. Whatever the reason, there are several steps you can take if you believe that your teenager is suffering from anxiety and depression.
Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression can be difficult to pinpoint. This is especially true in teens. The Mayo Clinic has identified several symptoms of depression in teens. One common sense symptom of depression can be reclusiveness. However, many teens go through a phase where they do not necessarily want to be around their parents. This is where you must pay attention to their interactions with other people. Do they have any other friends? Are they close to any mentors? They should have some form of healthy human interaction in their lives. Grades can also be a marker. If you have a successful student whose grades have recently dropped off, this could be a red flag.
Anxiety can present differently than depression. Some teens with anxiety attempt to control in different ways. Some turn to illegal outlet such as drugs or alcohol. Some developed physical behaviors related to the anxiety. Anxiety can be a broad term. Some teens suffer from social anxiety. Others have anxiety related to their academics. This is sometimes called performance-based anxiety. Some teens have anxiety related to an outside event such as the divorce of a parent. These are all complicated issues. They will likely need the help of a professional to sort through the issues. The most important thing is to identify sudden changes in behavior. This behavior should be taken seriously, even in teens.
Possible Contributing Factors
We really don’t know what causes anxiety and depression. We do know what Mental Health America suggests are contributing factors to the situation. Individuals who have suffered from abuse tend to have higher rates of anxiety and depression. This abuse can be in the form of bullying. It may be in the form of inappropriate contact. It could even come from feeling neglected. While these factors can contribute to anxiety and depression, it is important to recognize that not everyone with anxiety or depression have been abused.
Other contributing factors could include academic pressure. Students are responsible for learning now more than ever before. Standards are higher. Colleges are more competitive. Education is more expensive, requiring students to think about college at a very young age. This overwhelming atmosphere can become a contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Another contributing factor may be anxiety over social situations. Everyone feels like they don’t belong at times. However, feeling like this for an extended period of time can be mentally harmful. Such things as being a student at a new school can become a contributing factor. None of these necessarily cause anxiety or depression. They can, however, contribute to the situation and make things much worse.
Individuals with severe teenage anxiety and depression need our help. One of the best ways to treat these disorders is through inpatient therapy. This is particularly necessary as these conditions progress. This therapy will help the individuals deal with the underlying issues and insecurities. It will also help them to get on the correct medication for their disorders. The entire process is made specifically to help each patient individually.
After a time in inpatient therapy, teens will be much more likely to finally make their way out of the dark hole of anxiety and depression. They can find that balance they need within their own lives. There is no better thing that you can do for your child, friend, or family member.
Teen anxiety and depression is very serious. Left untreated, it can make for a life of misery. Centers such as Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center help the teen to positively deal with their issues. They can teach the teen that there is a way to feel like themselves again. They can teach them that this disorder does not define them. This is, quite possibly, the best gift you could ever give your teen.