Anxiety - for teens
Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling that people can have when they are faced with challenges, or situations they are worried about. Feeling anxious for short periods of time, from time to time is normal and can help you do well.
Signs of anxiety can include: sweating, shaking, hot and cold flushes, a racing heart, a dry mouth, fast breathing, an urge to go to the toilet, tight muscles and difficulty concentrating.
Anxiety may be a problem if you are worried much of the time, feel tired, have difficulty concentrating, feel irritable, have tight muscles and are not sleeping well.
There is information about anxiety and anxiety disorders on these websites:
Reachout - Australia’s leading online youth mental health service
Headspace The national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.
Understanding anxiety for young people
beyondblue – information for Australians about depression and anxiety
Better Health Channel (Victoria)
Often people who have an anxiety disorder are reluctant to seek help because they are embarrassed, shy and avoid being with others.
You could have a look at the topic on Reachout All about health professionals.
Things that can help:
- Counselling. Talk to your doctor and you may be able to get a referral to a psychologist for a reduced cost.
- Psychological treatments: learning new ways of interpreting feelings and different ways of thinking about behaviour.
- Behaviour therapy, which may include progressively coming to terms with a fear.
- Family therapy may be useful depending on what the difficulties are.
- Changes in the environment, such as changes at school.
- Relaxation techniques. See the topic 'Stress - learning to relax'.
- Exercise. Check out 'Exercise'.
- Doing things which you enjoy.
If you think you know someone with an anxiety disorder encourage them to seek help, just as they would for a physical problem. Saying things like ‘don’t worry so much’ and ‘you don’t have to be perfect’ will not be useful.
Have a look at this topic on the Reachout site How to help a friend with panic or anxiety
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor or other health professional.