At Monuments, many of our young men have anxiety disorders. This is a growing problem in the U.S. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 adolescents will experience an anxiety disorder. This has been a disturbing trend, with a 20 percent rise in anxiety disorders in children and teens from 2007 to 2012.
In this month’s two blogs let’s look a little more deeply into anxiety disorders and how they are treated at Monuments.
What’s causing the anxiety?
It’s impossible to put a direct cause and effect to what’s going on with our teens and this elevating level of anxiety, but it’s thought that a number of factors could be contributing to the problem. Of course, some teens are simply more likely to develop these disorders based on their genes, brain chemistry, personality, and things that happen in their lives.
But experts point at these trends in our society as likely elevating anxiety:
- Pressure to succeed — Today’s teenagers are under much higher expectations to perform and achieve than prior generations. Think of your own route to college, and then compare it to today’s pressure cooker for teens trying to get into various schools. Even when they get there, they still feel stressed. A survey done yearly by Higher Education Research asks incoming freshmen if they feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. In 1985 the number was 18%. In 2000 it was 28%. In 2016 it was 41%.
- World events — School shootings and lockdown drills are common in U.S. schools. Terrorists attacks are regular events on the news. Shootings occur in public places. These events can make a teen feel a sense of dread in public spaces that have formerly been safe.
- Social media — Today’s teens are constantly connected through social media. They look for and receive instant feedback. They compare their lives to those of everyone else they see on social media, and they often feel they come up lacking.
What are some signs a teenager is suffering from an anxiety disorder?
- Recurring fears and worries about routine parts of everyday lift
- Changes in behavior, such as irritability
- Avoiding activities, school, or social interactions
- Dropping grades or school avoidance
- Trouble sleeping
- Concentration problems
- Substance use
- Risky behaviors
- Chronic physical complaints, such as fatigue headaches, or stomach aches
In this month’s second blog we’ll get into anxiety disorders and the best treatment approaches.
If your teenage boy is having trouble with these issues and you don’t know what to do, it may be time to call us at Monuments, (800) 559-1980. We can help.