What's causing the rise in teenage girls with severe anxiety?

Rapidly increasing Anxiety cases in adolescents today weren't seen in the same breathtaking numbers before! Some researchers say that more than 70% of teenagers today are open to speaking on such delicate topics because of the right education. 

According to the CDC, from 2018 to 2019, more than 7% of the children falling under the age group of 13 to 18 were diagnosed with anxiety disorders. With the additional number of teenagers, the number increased to 10.5% all over.'

As revealed by one of the main coordinators of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America named Richa Bhatia, - 'More than 15 to 30% of the U.S. adolescents get affected by the anxiety disorders.'

Well, the stats in India as well aren't any far in terms of numbers. More than 25% of the Indians teens on average reportedly faced anxiety disorders in the last two years. 

'Anxiety can give birth to depression, if not treated on time! It's a sensitive topic, a hidden wound dwelling on our minds!'

Moving forward to the proper stats of U.S anxiety and what may be the causes of the anxiety globally. 

Symptoms of Anxiety: According to 'Tabatha Chansard'

Known for her excellence as the clinical psychologist apart from being the author of Conquer Anxiety Workbook for Teens, - the following symptoms are the signs of dangers of anxiety -

  • Difficulty in Breathing
  • Nausea
  • Sudden Body Shaking
  • Fumbling while speaking
  • Sweating time and again 
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Mind running with thoughts
  • Pain in the Abdominal area
  • Heightened Physical Turmoil 
  • Poor Appetite

Anxiety in America: 'banyanmentalhealth.com'

According to 'banyanmentalhealth.com,' teen anxiety in America has shown a tremendous amount of increase in the last five years. As per the survey, 

  • America stands at number one position in having the highest rate of anxieties i.e., 6.64% in common to other countries. 
  • Social Anxiety Disorder has trapped almost 15 million U.S. people.
  • Almost 3.8 million Americans have come under the trap of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  • The Specific Phobia Disorder has invaded almost 19 million Americans.
  • Panic Disorder has been common among the 6 million Americans. 

What's causing the rise in teenager females severe anxiety?

Multiple scenarios can lead to teenager anxiety. Let's discuss each of them one by one below -

1.The feeling of misunderstood - Parent/Child Generation Gap

Parents often fail to understand what teenagers want and how to handle them. 

According to the teenager researchers, 'More than 60% of the teens feels unwelcomed, unloved and unheard at their homes. They say that their opinions don't matter to the elder household people which leads them under stress and trapped in the wings of anxiety.'

Parents often create boundaries especially when their child becomes teenagers to control completely but this leads to backfiring them. 

According to the research studies, - 'Teenagers where they are misunderstood, are more likely to take help of substance abuse, sexual intercourse, and crimes to handle their frustration. This often leads to the increased anxieties in them.'

2.Hormonal Changes

Teenage girls face hormonal shifts because of menstruation and teenage boys undergo hormonal changes because of testosterone. 

According to the researches, 'Majority of the teens due to the lack of understanding in how to deal with such emotions, they naturally get themselves into the trap of anxiety and stress.'

3.Peer Pressure/Competition

The pressure arousing from the peers folks can be the biggest cause of rising anxiety in teens. We all know this phrase, 'We become the one, we stay with.' 

Peers can impact you negatively or even positively in some cases, but the point to note here is that both cases can lead to unseen anxiety. 

How Positive peer pressure can be stressful? 

    • To keep up with good grades.
    • To take part in every extracurricular activity.
    • To become the captain of the school
    • To invest money in food and clothes.

How negative peer pressure can be stressful?

    • To try drinking, smoking, and drugs if your peer folks do it.
    • To eve tease every next girl on their way.
    • Bunk classes.
    • Getting into sexual intercourse to look cool like your peers.
    • Coming late to class.
    • Stealing money.
    • Fighting with boys.

4.Brain Development Phase

According to the research, '20-30% of teens start doing part-time jobs and taking family responsibilities at their mid 20's.

Teens are generally expected to act mature and take the responsibilities of an adult which leads to an enormous amount of anxiety and stress in them.  

5.Looking cool on social media

Almost 3 out of every 5 teens can be found on either one of the social media sites/apps. 

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, snap chat and TikTok have gained the most popularity in the last 2 years. Teenagers post excessively to get in the eye of the public, to be a superhero by getting likes equivalent to a film star. But when they fail to get so in their pictures, they come under distress and start feeling unworthy leading them to choose the wrong path to get this frustration out of them.

According to the report, - '30% of teens either tried getting into a substance abuse or did suicide because of the fewer likes, subscribers, and comments on their social media accounts.' 

This made them feel anxious, threatened and less wanted in the eye of the public creating an inferiority complex in them. 

6.Overthinking about meeting Expectations

'Meeting expectations' is the worst enemy of a teenager that can ruin a teenager completely even leading to suicide. 

What expectations pressurizes teenage girls leading to anxiety in them?

    • Learning cooking
    • Wearing clothes in a particular way
    • The expectation of getting married early
    • Knowing other households work like clothes stitching, home cleaning, caretaking, etc
    • Giving birth as soon as she is married
    • Dropping the plan of higher studies

What expectations pressurizes teenage boys leading to anxiety in them?

  • Acting mature after crossing his 16th birthday

  • Scoring high grades in schools

  • Starting supporting home with early job

  • Plans to manage his family after getting married

How to avoid anxiety in teenagers?

  • Speak with your child whenever they are in the right state of mind. 

  • Be a good listener. Half of their problems go away just by feeling heard. 

  • Explore new places with your child, educate them on various topics and let them have a good upbringing. 

  • Be empathetic towards your child. Show them your care if they fail after trying something new. These few gestures of yours can be a natural therapy for them.

  • Get indulged with them in activities creating happiness like basketball, walk, etc.

Teenage - 'The most delicate age of all, where either we boom as a superstar or spoil our life completely.' Teenagers need to be handled smartly and with care which should show them the thin line between what's right and what's wrong for them. During this period, a lot of new learnings, hormonal changes, temptations, urge to be your CEO, roam freely, mood swings, cyberbullying, social polarization take place. If something goes wrong, it sure shot going to backfire their mind leading to stress and anxiety which might lead to critical depression and substance abuse. Help your teenagers with the right path before it's too late! 



Image Source: Discoverymood

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