anxiety symptoms in teens

Anxiety Symptoms in Teens Can Be Different

It’s common enough for adults to have trouble recognizing their own struggle with anxiety. And it can be even more difficult to see when your teen is suffering. Anxiety symptoms in teens can be hard to read. How can you tell whether what you are seeing is just “typical teen behavior”, or is a problem that needs some attention.

Recently, “Karen” talked with me about her dilemma.  She confided that she doesn’t want to be “a worry wart”. But she also doesn’t want to neglect her son if he is suffering.

Some Teens Suffer In Silence

When asked, Karen’s son insists he’s “fine”. But she is afraid that he is suffering in silence.

So, what are some common anxiety symptoms that I’ve seen in teens I’ve worked with?

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Emotional Outbursts, Moodiness and Meltdowns
  • Headaches and Stomachaches
  • Avoidance of school friends, activities that used to be fun.
  • Sleep problems


Rates of anxiety and depression are increasing among young people. Some teens may outgrow these anxiety symptoms. But, although that may be true, it’s also true that many teens will not. So, it’s important to break the cycle of anxiety early in life, before it becomes a habit that is ingrained in your teen’s nervous system.

So, if your child seems to be stuck and not getting past worries and fears, it’s important to get help.

Anxiety Symptoms In Teens – They Fuel Other Problems

It’s important to realize that some anxiety does not get better on it’s own.

When anxiety is chronic, some teens turn to substances for relief and escape. They self medicate. Substance use problems like Alcohol abuse, marijuana, prescription drugs are very common amongst teens. For many young people, internet, social media and video gaming provide short term escape from anxious feelings and worries.

Academic performance plummets too. It’s hard to do well if your anxiety distracts you. If you are worried about writing that paper perfectly, writer’s block can paralyze you.

Teens that struggle with social anxiety carry an extra burden. At an age when they should be spending time with peers, they find themselves withdrawing and avoiding friends and peer social groups.

With Help, Teen Years Go Much Easier

Fortunately, we are living in a time where there is a lot of help available. And that help goes way beyond anti anxiety drugs.

We have a number of highly effective treatments for anxiety symptoms in teens. Traditional talk therapy can  help some teens. Skills based therapy can teach your child to manage physical symptoms of anxiety and the habitual thoughts and feelings that feed it.

Neurofeedback Training can be fun an interesting and effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms in teens.  Please feel welcome to  read and learn more about both my anxiety therapy services and neurofeedback therapy.