3 Common Causes of Anxiety in Teenagers

Anxiety in Teenagers

As the age group that transitions from child to adult, teenagers face a lot of new challenges and responsibilities.

For some teenagers, these new aspects in their life can cause anxiety. Discover three common causes of teenager anxiety so you can help your child through this time.

1. School

The teenage years bring in new aspects of schooling not usually seen in elementary school.

For example, most young teens switch over to middle school, where they must learn to adapt to many classes and teachers at a time, instead of just one teacher during the entire school. Additionally, high school brings with it the worries of preparing for and choosing a college.

Also, both middle and high school might require an adjustment in academic expectations. Suddenly, instead of homework from one teacher, your teenager faces homework from six or eight teachers. This can require more time, effort, motivation, and focus from your teenager. Big projects and tests can simply add to your child’s burdens and worries.

Plus, different teachers have different ways of teaching and grading. Your teenager might have to adapt their learning methods for each teacher, which can prove stressful and cause anxiety.

And many teenagers participate in extracurriculars like volunteer work, school clubs, and school committees. All of these also carry their own responsibilities and can take away from sleep or personal time.

With all of these sources of potential academic anxiety, your teenage child might start suffering academically or express their emotions in worrying ways. Help your teenager with their academic stress by communicating with academic staff, showing concern and empathy for your teenager, or talking with your teenager about what anxieties they have.

2. First Jobs

While many teenagers might be used to doing chores around the house, they aren’t usually used to entering the workforce.

Their first job can be a stepping stone toward adulthood, but it can also bring new sources of anxiety.

For example, they first have to endure the worries of finding a job. This includes searching for jobs they might not necessarily want and interviewing for jobs. Then, after they get a job, they often have to rearrange their schedules to accommodate their new work schedule, learn new work skills, and follow orders from new people. All of these can produce anxiety.

Then, a teenager might have access to more money than they’re used to. This might lead to them using their money too quickly and then not having enough for other essential purchases. Money mismanagement can be a source of anxiety, especially if the teenager is unaware of the best practices of budgeting and saving.

To ensure your teenager succeeds at their first job, help them prepare for the interview, know how to budget and save, and be a source they can turn to with their anxieties.

3. Social Media

Many teenagers are involved on social media and can spend hours on various platforms.

The constant pressure of always having to be online, knowing what’s going on with their friends’ lives, and fearing what others might say about their content can elevate levels of anxiety.

Instead of simply forcing a teenager to go on a complete digital detox, help them moderate their time on social media and set expectations about social media use. However, also communicate with your teenager about their wants and their concerns, and evaluate their input to ensure that you can come up with an agreeable compromise.

In conclusion...

Teenagers face a lot in their lives.

Besides your help, they can also benefit from caring and experienced therapists who can provide teenagers with the tools they need to deal with their anxieties positively and successfully.

Call us today at Anxiety Institute to learn more.

About the Author

Headshot: Stacy Santacroce, L.C.S.W.
Over the last sixteen years, Stacy has worked with clients of all ages providing care for mental health and substance use disorders in outpatient, partial and intensive outpatient settings. Stacy maximizes the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy using an individualized, strengths-based approach.
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