Anxiety in Teens: the Rate is Higher in Girls

Anxiety in Teens: the Rate is Higher in Girls

In a recent article published in The New York Times, Leonard Sax M.D., PH.D., brings attention to the many reasons anxiety in teens tends to be more prevalent in girls. He uses the example of an athletic, academically talented, seemingly perfect girl on the surface, but inside, she’s plagued with anxiety to the point of self-harm. This is a common situation, which is why many teens go untreated for extreme anxiety.

What causes anxiety in teens?

The causes for anxiety in teens can vary from child to child based on gender, genes, and much more. Anxiety disorder is complicated and often does not have one cause for its appearance. It is not uncommon for it to co-exist with other disorders, such as depression, as well, making identifying it even more difficult.

anxiety in teens

Photo Credit: Flickr user – Sharon Sinclair

Social media is more of a factor in girls, but it definitely has the power to contribute and spur on anxiety. Social media has a way of rewarding the sexualization of girls through “likes” and “retweets.” This means if a girl posts a picture and it doesn’t get enough likes, if she has anxiety it may make her feel inferior and more self-conscious about her appearance.

A family history of anxiety could also be one of the causes of your child’s anxiety. If a parent has an anxiety disorder, your child can also learn the tendency to be anxious by watching your actions and being influenced by them.

Stressful life events or trauma can trigger anxiety, also. These types of events can cause your child to focus on them and stress about them obsessively.  

Warning signs of anxiety in teens

Even though anxiety can be hard to spot sometimes, knowing the red flags to watch for can help you, as a parent, identify it. Catching an anxiety disorder early on can help your child be able to recover and move forward more easily. From the National Institute of Mental Health, common signs of anxiety include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sudden attacks of intense fear or worry
  • Irritability
  • Highly anxious in social settings
  • Constantly afraid of being humiliated or judged
  • Fear of rejection
  • Often restless or wound-up
  • Easily fatigued

If you believe your child may be experiencing an anxiety disorder, it’s important to seek out professional help. Ignoring these symptoms won’t make the issue disappear, but getting help may give your child the chance to move forward towards a healthy, safe life.

ViewPoint Center can help

If traditional therapy isn’t working for your child, it may be time to consider a more significant intervention. ViewPoint Center is a teen assessment center for young people ages 12-17. ViewPoint offers a comprehensive diagnostic assessment followed by treatment.

For more info about how ViewPoint Center handles anxiety in teens, please call 801-825-5222 today!


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