What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial and normal for teens dealing with tense, overwhelming, and timely situations. For teens, situations such as public speaking, final exams, athletic competitions, or even expressing their feelings to a significant other can cause a normal anxious feeling.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increase heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. In today’s society, high expectations, a terrifying world, for example, school shootings, and social media can possibly contribute to the rise in teenagers facing anxiety disorders. When anxiety goes beyond the common symptoms, teens start feeling overwhelmed and lonely, interfering with the teen’s normal life and most likely negatively affecting close relationships.
Teens are often told they are anxious or experiencing emotional changes because of “hormones”. Although sometimes teens are being hormonal changes, it’s important to identify the red flags that can be hidden signs of an anxiety disorder. Here are a few physical and emotional symptoms of an anxiety disorder:
- Excessive worrying
- Excessive fatigue
- New eating habits
- Lack of concentration
- Unwanted thoughts
Common Anxiety Disorders in Teens
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
It’s ok to worry about homework assignments, romantic dates, and sport games, but what happens when those worries don’t go the right way? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a numerous of things. GAD affects your health causing stomach problems, headaches, muscle tension, and other physical and mental health problems. People with GAD tend to worry more than other people and often continue to worry about a situation that has already been resolved.
The Wise Teen support group encourages teens with GAD to join sessions to learn tips for problem solving so those worries cease once the situation has been resolved.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Making sure to wear your lucky socks before a basketball game or double checking to see if you’ve locked the door are common rituals or behavior; however, once these thoughts or actions begin to impact your everyday life it may be a sign of OCD.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is made up of two things: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted ideas or thoughts that continually take over a person’s mind. Compulsions are irresistible actions that a person commits due to anxiety caused by obsessions.
Panic Disorder & Panic Attacks
Imagine you haven’t studied for an exam that’s in two hours and you suddenly start to feel your heat racing or sweaty. After a few minutes, you return to normal and accept the consequences and promise yourself you will study more for the next exam. What you just experienced was a panic attack.
However, a panic disorder causes repeated, unexpected attacks of intense fear and then those fears become fears of having more attacks. Joining support groups will help teens learn strategies on how to prevent and control panic attacks, creating positive change.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
It’s normal to feel nervous in certain social situations, such as in a job interview or class presentation, but if you’re living in a constant fear of interacting with others then those can be signs of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
According to Anxiety.org, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is characterized by a strong and persistent fear of social situations in which humiliation or embarrassment may occur. Teens with SAD might feel very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations, for example, meeting new people or talking in front of a small or large group of people.
Due to high expectations, many teens with SAD think other people will look down on them or laugh if they say something odd or foolish. That’s why it is important for teens to join anxiety support groups so the can meet others who are facing the same struggles.
Wise Teen Support Group in Broward County
Is your teen feeling stressed? That’s ok! Studies have shown that 31% of teens experience anxiety. Behavioral Health Associates of Broward is here to support and teach teens what is anxiety and also provide helpful strategies to help your teen’s well-being and improve their quality of life!
Our Wise Teen Support Group helps bring teens, 12-15 years old, with common experiences and feelings together, allowing everyone to help and learn from each other.
Sign-up for the four-week Wise Teen Support Group today! For more information on how to register, call 954-909-0888.
Date: Beginning Thursday, October 10th (4-week Support Group)
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: 5890 S. Pine Island Rd. Davie, FL 33328
Cost: $10 per teen, per session