What is anxiety? Teenagers

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Anxiety is a serious problem for teenagers. Common features of anxiety include tension, worry, frustration, irritability, sadness and withdrawal. Young people do not often express their anxiety in a straightforward way and can show they are affected through passive or negative behaviours.




For teenagers

Anxiety makes us feel fearful. It can cause us to not want to face things or the reverse – to over-check and over-think. Anxiety responds really well to psychological treatment especially one called Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (CBT). This can include learning to manage the physical symptoms of anxiety through breathing and relaxing in special ways as well as identifying the thoughts that make you anxious.

Changing anxious behaviours helps break the hold that anxiety has on you.



You could ask your GP for some help. You can also try the Clear Fear app, which uses CBT principles to help manage symptoms of anxiety.

Clear Fear can help you:

  • Learn about the different types of anxiety
  • Identify anxious thoughts and make change by using the help of a group of ‘Worry Warriors’
  • Set yourself some goals to face your fear, one step at a time
  • With breathing and mindfulness activities
  • Deal with a panic attack
  • Find time to relax – with some cheesy jokes, funny gifs, inspirational quotes and people

If you have been diagnosed with anxiety, here are some further quick tips to deal with some of the symptoms:

  • Remember that the bodily symptoms you feel are related to fear and are perfectly normal. Breathe out the fear and work on relaxing your body one part at a time
  • Have a number of ‘safe’ places you can think of and ‘escape’ to – just to give your fears a break
  • Write down your fears and put them away – they may seem less fearful the next time you look at them
  • Express your fears to someone you know will understand and see if they have a different way of looking at things
  • Work on challenging fearful thoughts – can you see the funny side of the thing you are fearful of? Or have a positive thought to balance it?


Try Dr. Krause’s Toothbrush Thought

If you give yourself a chance to think positively about yourself, you will start to behave positively. Then just sit back and notice the positive results that come from this. Take one positive thought about yourself and think about this when you brush your teeth in the morning.

“I am likeable” for example.
“Tessa told me I am a good listener”
“Robbie said I was his friend”
“The old lady on the bus smiled at me”

Test this thought throughout the day. When you brush your teeth at the end of the day, think of the results you’ve had from testing it.

“It’s true – people do like me”


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