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Understanding Teen Anxiety and Fear to Better Help Them

Teen Anxiety, Teen counseling, Pinehurst,NC

Understanding Teen Anxiety and Fear to Better Help Them


Given all the changes that happen during adolescence, teenagers have a greater tendency to feel anxious about more things.  They may distress about their appearance, popularity, extra-curricular activities, schoolwork, meeting deadlines, passing exams. They may worry about their relationships, friendships and so much more.

These obstacles can contribute to their confusion, resulting in their being apprehensive, self-conscious, insecure, or fearful, even in a nurturing environment. In a less favorable environment or without the support of family, they could be more susceptible to teen anxiety and fears. For some, it can escalate to a level (phobias and panic) that interferes with their daily activities. It can stand in the way of performing their academic potential. It can result in missed opportunities that may further hone their skills and interests in extracurricular areas. It can also result in their withdrawing from family and friends.

Though anxiety can impact teens in many significant ways, it is an addressable and treatable issue. Understanding the condition is the first step in offering help. you can make the critical decision and take the important steps needed for your son’s or daughter’s overall wellness. One such step is recognizing the value of seeking help from a trained health professional when needed.


What are some of the eminent facts to know about teen anxiety?


Teens Can Be Vulnerable

Adolescence is a time of many physical and biological changes. Given this range of uncertainty and challenges during this time, anxiety is frequently present in the background like some unseen hurdle. It is too often ignored, dismissed as a temporary disturbance that all teens experience. Feeling slightly and occasionally distressed about things can be expected, however, if worry is persistent, intense and irrational; it may be time to explore the benefits of professional help.

Vulnerability to anxiety may also be an effect of the changing levels of hormones. Sexual maturation happens at different rates – teens mature differently which still does not lessen the difficulty. Perceiving that they are developing differently from their peers can sow seeds of fear. It can stir intense emotions and result in their being overly worried, not fully understanding the developmental process.

Because adolescence is also the time when they may be seeking out their peers for answers, being accepted by others and becoming a part of certain groups are important. One such fear is being perceived as different. Therefore, many teens exert effort to look and act like their peers. Anxiety can impact the other processes during adolescence, such as seeking their identity and building their self-image. Another task of adolescence is building a sense of independence and taking on more responsibility.  


Anxiety Signs to Notice

 Recognizing the signs of anxiety may not be easy because many signs are nonspecific or similar to other behaviors present in teenagers. For some, anxiety may have no specific triggers. Keeping things to themselves or not wanting their parents to know certain areas of their lives is also common. This may include not telling you how they are feeling, which may already be teen anxiety signs that you can watch out for, such as:

  • Extreme fear or worry about specific situations, or everyday life
  • Saying their mind is racing and they can’t think straight
  • Inability to concentrate or poor memory
  • Avoiding new and difficult situations
  • Avoiding social situations, being socially isolated or extremely shy
  • Being on edge or nervous
  • Being constantly tired and unable to sleep.

 Anxiety may also manifest itself in your child’s physical health. If they are often complaining about discomforts, despite the doctor saying there is nothing wrong, it can be wise to see a therapist. Some physical symptoms to note are:

  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeats and sweating
  • Shallow breathing and shortness of breath
  • Restlessness and shaking
  • Dry mouth, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Insomnia


Causes and Consequences of Fears and Anxiety

If anxiety “runs in the family,” your teen may be at a higher risk, being genetically predisposed. Many studies reveal that a child has a higher chance of becoming anxious if at least one parent has anxiety. Aside from the genetic predisposition, an anxious relative may also create a stressful home environment for a child/teen. These symptoms may compound their inherent sensitivity or vulnerability.

Studies have also revealed that teen anxiety and fears could have started as separation anxiety when they were little. Separation anxiety can flood a child with many fears and negative feelings as they are separated from their parents or people they trust. When untreated or unaddressed, they may carry the condition into their adolescence. While developing their sense of independence, they may consciously deny they are afraid to be separated from people they trust, yet it may be manifested in their behaviors – not wanting to do things alone or being reluctant to leave home and certain activities with other peers.

Anxiety can have serious repercussions, if its symptoms are not resolved or treated. Your teenager may not perform well in school. They may avoid school, social interactions, or miss out on other enriching opportunities. Anxiety may also impact their self-esteem and self-image, which may contribute to their insecurities and lack of confidence. Poor self-esteem may also lead them to become perfectionists or overly conforming to be accepted or gain approval from others.  Your teen may also be tempted to resort to risky behaviors or be vulnerable to mood and eating disorders.


Taking Action: When and How

While it is true that teens can feel anxious about many things, it isn’t something we can take for granted. Anxiety can significantly complicate the already existing “growing pains,” making their adolescence much more challenging. Since telling the difference between worry and anxiety is so difficult, it’s important to not only recognize the symptoms of anxiety, but also understand the condition overall, and your options for seeking help for your teenager. Know that it is possible for teenagers to transition during this milestone of development. Though there can be obstructions and challenges along the way, facing them can be easier if they are not gripped with excessive fears and anxiety. The key is to seek help from the right resource – call Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC.

 A therapist independently contracted with CCS – Pinehurst, NC, can help you understand anxiety and fear better, so you can be better armed when making important decisions in the future. They can also assist your son or daughter resolve their anxiety by providing them with ways to lessen the symptoms of the condition.  Make that call today to Carolina Counseling Services – Pittsboro, NC, to request appointment!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-420-3600 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
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  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311