Anxiety Treatment for Teenagers

What Do Austin Teenagers Worry About?

Adolescence is a stressful time for both teenagers and their parents. Along with the many confusing physical and hormonal changes that accompany puberty, teens are becoming very independent. They are worrying more and more about their social standing and where they fit in with peers. Mood swings, peer pressure, and temptation to try new and sometimes dangerous things can put them at risk for depression and anxiety. Being smarter and more experienced may lead them to think about larger world problems. This can cause anxiety about things outside of their control. While some common fears like the doctor, the dark, and fear of being hurt/kidnapped carried over from previous developmental stages might remain, some other common worries and fears that teens experience are:

  • Bullying or ridicule at school
  • Fears of having no friends
  • Worries about physical appearance and image: weight, acne, body changes
  • Worry about the future: college, getting a job, getting married, being homeless
  • Worries about the world and safety: war, terrorist attacks, school shootings, natural disasters
  • Worry about illness or death, especially if a classmate is missing from school for an extended period of time or a family member or friend is experiencing a severe illness
  • Fear of car accidents
  • Anxiety about speaking in front of a class or teacher, worry about embarrassment in front of others
  • Fear of failing at school, sports, or work
  • Worries about life purpose and being an adult
  • Fear of romantic rejection

Learn about when you should consider seeking anxiety treatment for your teenager.

What Developmental Changes Do Teenagers Experience?

Adolescence is a confusing time of mental, emotional, physical, and social changes. Hormones and puberty are driving growth spurts and physical changes. These changes often cause new insecurities and heightened sensitivity of how they are viewed by others and can contribute to moodiness, and even feelings of depression or anxiety. Teens realize that adults are not perfect and rebellion is very common. Peer relationships and friendships are seen as the most important and influential aspect of life. These relationships come with their own pressures and anxieties. While they are becoming more independent, teens still need support and guidance. This is especially true as peer pressure to drink, smoke, experiment with drugs, or engage in sexual activities is more common.

Physical Changes

  • Rapid growth in height and weight
  • Sexual maturity and changes from puberty
  • Growth occurs in spurts and at different times and different rates throughout high school
  • Acne is common
  • Older teens might appear physically older than they are
  • Many teens have trouble waking up early and want to stay up late; they are often sleep deprived during the week and want to sleep late on weekends

Cognitive Skills

  • Abstract reasoning and thought develops and is refined over time
  • Ability to think about the future and reason through the likely consequences to actions
  • Better able to express feelings and opinions
  • Developing sense of morals and a stronger sense of right and wrong
  • Older teenagers (ages 15-18) are more intellectually advanced and can have more adult conversations; they are better able to listen, understand, and empathize with others’ points of views

Social And Emotional Development

  • Self focused and overly concerned about looks and body image
  • Relationships, friendships, and peers are most important
  • Heavily influenced by peers in choosing clothes, music, and trends
  • Dating becomes more common; pairing off into couples changes peer groups
  • May have outgrown physical and outward affection from parents and prefer that contact from friends
  • Moodiness, rudeness, and isolation become more common
  • Conflict and rebellion much more common
  • Might challenge parents as a way of trying to separate from them
  • As teens get older, they become better at managing peer pressure

Adolescent Anxiety Treatment At Austin Anxiety And OCD Specialists

If your teenager is experiencing anxiety call Austin Anxiety and OCD Specialists at (512) 246-7225 or email us at hel[email protected] to schedule an appointment with one of our adolescent therapists.

If you have any additional questions please contact us at 512-246-7225. If you are ready to get started, please visit our client portal.