Types of Teen Anxiety Disorders and Treatment

Teens can be prone to a variety of psychological illnesses during adolescence. One in particular is anxiety. Because of the significant stress an adolescent goes through during this time of their life, they might experience social anxiety, panic attacks, or a persistent experience of anxiety.


Types of Teen Anxiety Disorders


The following are common types of teen anxiety disorders that teens might experience:


Panic Disorder – This illness involves the consistent experience of attacks as well as a persistent concern about having additional attacks. Typically, teens with this disorder are extremely anxious and fearful, primarily because of the inability to predict when the next attack will occur. Attacks are often accompanied by a feeling of being out of control and include uncomfortable physical sensations, such as a pounding heart, sweating, weakness, dizziness, and numbness. An intense worry about the next attack is a common symptom that makes Panic Disorder difficult to manage.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – This diagnosis is given to those teens who experience excessive and irrational worry for at least six months. It might be natural to experience anxiety right before an exam or if you’re about to go on a date. But excessive anxiety is often persistent and seems to come on without an associated trigger. Its symptoms, such as a racing heart, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, shaking, sweating palms, and feeling hot, might suddenly come out of nowhere.


Phobia – A phobia is an irrational or persistent fear of an object, situation, or social activity. Most teens with specific phobias, such as agoraphobia – the fear of small spaces, have several triggers. When they are in the presence of a trigger, or sometimes just by thinking of the trigger, they experience anxiety. Depending on the type of phobia and the number of triggers, a phobia can become debilitating for a teen.


Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders


Symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

  • a racing heart
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • shaking
  • sweaty palms
  • feeling hot

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of anxiety, it’s important to get assessed by a mental health professional.


Treatment for Anxiety Disorders


Once a therapist, psychologist or counselor makes the determination that you have an anxiety-related psychological illness, then he or she can begin to treat the illness.


Typically, teen anxiety disorders are treated with some form of medication to relieve a teen of their symptoms as well as therapy to address the underlying issues. Types of medication for anxiety include anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants. Examples of medication a teen might take for anxiety include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin


Although teen anxiety disorders may lead to long term negative outcomes, such as social isolation, low self esteem, lack of independence, depression, or substance abuse, as the title of this article suggests, anxiety doesn’t have to be debilitating. Symptoms of anxiety may get better with the right amount of support – friends, family, counseling, psychotherapy, support group, and medication.


It’s important to know that we all get stressed out from time to time. However, if you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety to the point that it’s getting in the way of living life, then it’s essential to call a mental health provider.