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Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress.

The medical definition of anxiety provided in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.” Adolescence is an incredibly challenging time, and teenagers experiencing bouts of anxiety are to be expected. However, experiencing frequent anxiety attacks may suggest a deeper mental health issue is at play. 

Anxiety disorders, for example, involve excessive feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, fear, and anxiety. According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are several different types of anxiety disorders, some of which include: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia). Teenage anxiety disorders are highly common. The exact cause for developing an anxiety disorder remains unknown. Research suggests that it is likely due to a combination of contributing factors such as psychological, environmental, genetic, and developmental factors.

Treatment

There are a variety of approaches to treating teenagers with anxiety disorders. The two main treatments for an anxiety disorder include psychotherapy and medication, and they are not mutually exclusive. Any young person in treatment will require a nuanced treatment plan that carefully incorporates the best possible therapeutic methods and is specifically geared to each teen’s personal needs. There are many different types of therapeutic modalities that could be integrated into one’s treatment plan, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Some adolescents diagnosed with an anxiety disorder may benefit from including medication into the treatment plan, in conjunction with various therapeutic methods. The different types of medications prescribed for anxiety disorders include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). If medication is necessary, the providing mental health clinician should consult with an adolescent psychiatrist as well as collaborate with the teenager’s parents both for permission and continued involvement in the treatment process. Every young person is unique and will respond distinctly to the various treatment options available.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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