Have you ever freaked out about a taking an exam, giving a presentation, or talking to someone you have a crush on? There are lots of things that can create anxiety. Usually anxiety is like stress, those unpleasant feelings – like nervousness or dread – you have when faced with an unwanted event or situation.
It is normal for people to feel intense anxiety at times that can affect their emotions or behaviors. These feelings often don’t point to an anxiety disorder. Sometimes, though, a person can experience anxiety that gets in the way of being able to do the things he or she wants to do. This type of anxiety can be caused by physical and brain mechanisms that aren’t working properly, resulting in significant suffering or problems with everyday activities. A teen with this type of anxiety might have trouble getting to school on time, might not be able to focus in class because of worries, or might feel too shy to go to a party or be part of school activities. Doctors have developed specific methods for distinguishing between “normal” day-to-day anxiety and anxiety disorders, which can be helped with treatment.
With support from friends and family and proper treatment, teens with anxiety disorders can feel better.