Joanna Leal Cervantes
One out of every three students in high school suffer from some sort of anxiety. Whether it be severe or mild, anxiety may be something that can be holding teenagers back from being social and achieving their greatest potential. The most common anxiety disorders are placed into three categories.
- GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER
Up to about nine percent of teenagers will develop this anxiety disorder. Teens who fall under this category worry excessively about a variety of things such as grades, family issues, relationships, and performance. They tend to strive for perfection and seek constant approval from others. People with this disorder may experience fear, nervousness, and shyness. More times than not this particular disorder is usually a phase during one’s childhood. Connecting with others is an effective way to calm a sufferer’s nervous system and diffuse anxiety. Learning to calm down quickly by using your senses soothes symptoms. Exercise is a natural and effective way to reduce tension and stress hormones.
- PANIC DISORDER
This disorder is one of the more severe teens can suffer from. People who have experienced more than two unexpected attacks have been diagnosed with Panic Disorder. People who have this disorder also suffer from anticipatory anxiety which basically makes a person worry about having another attack. Sufferers also begin to avoid going to places where a panic attack may occur or have occurred Having this disorder risks a person’s sanity and their control in certain situations. Stopping a panic attack is also a very useful skill people with this disorder can use, such as deep breathing techniques that help sufferers not hyperventilate and instead focus on the breaths being taken. Recognizing that they’re having a panic attack also allows you to focus on other techniques to reduce symptoms. Using muscle relaxation techniques have been proven useful because it controls the body’s response to an attack.
- SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
Also known as a social phobia is mainly characterized by intense fear of performance situations and activities. Often students will avoid presentations, meeting new people, and giving speeches out of fear of being judged and/or embarrassed. SAD (social anxiety disorder) victims are so afraid of being criticized that it interferes with one’s ability to live a normal life. This can cause people to avoid everyday social situations like going out with friends, speaking up in class, or participating in gym class. Imagining yourself letting the anxiety flow out of you can help calm your nerves. Practicing doing what you fear and acknowledging what makes you anxious and still doing it can slowly tear away at your anxiety.
Anxiety can be a very difficult part in a teenager’s high school experience, but that’s only if you choose to let it. So break down your walls, get out there, and try new things.