Anxiety in Teenagers


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Boulder Creek Academy

At its campus in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Boulder Creek Academy offers multifaceted therapeutic and academic services to students age 13 through 18. Boulder Creek Academy enrolls many students with mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression.

For most teenagers, anxiety is a manageable aspect of facing new or challenging situations. For some, however, symptoms of nervousness escalate to a level at which they interfere with everyday life. A student may feel anxious about activities that to an external observer may seem ordinary, such as a day at school or an interaction with a peer.

This anxiety may manifest internally as worry, nervousness, or unrelenting stress. Many teenagers with anxiety report a pervasive restlessness and an inability to settle, and physical manifestations are common. Typical complaints include muscle tension, fatigue, back pain, stomachaches, and headaches.

The intensity of nervous feelings often causes teens to avoid certain triggering situations, such as school or peer interactions. A teen may become unusually withdrawn or inhibited, although others display their anxiety through behaviors of dependence or excess emotionality. Some teens attempt to handle their anxiety by engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as sexual activity or drug use.

If untreated, anxiety can significantly affect a teenager’s performance in school and extracurricular activities. Related distress can lead to the development of additional mental health issues, such as eating disorders or depression, and suicidal ideation is a real risk. For this reason, any symptoms of anxiety lasting more than six months should prompt professional intervention.