Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Teen Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in children and adolescents.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety can be normal. It is a natural reaction of our body and mind to a threat that helps us survive. Everyone experiences this from time to time in new or challenging situations. Anxiety can feel like fear, worrying, nervousness or even panic.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in children and adolescents, affecting 8-10% of this age group. Up to 30% of adolescents will develop an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.

Examples of anxiety disorders can include:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Specific phobias
  • Social anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

When Anxiety Becomes a Problem:

Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that involve too much anxiety.

  • Anxiety is too intense, happens too often or is exaggerated so much that it prevents you from functioning or being happy.
  • It may cause you to miss school or avoid spending time with friends.
  • You can even experience physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, tiredness and nausea.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?

Therapy

Therapy can help you develop positive thinking, problem-solving skills, behavioral change, stress management and coping strategies.

Medicines

If anxiety is too severe, your doctor may recommend medications to help decrease overall anxiety symptoms.

You

There are things you can do at home to improve your stress and mood: good sleep, balanced diet, exercise and talking to others.

Still have questions? Come see us.

Our adolescent medicine team has special training to meet the unique needs of teens. We're here to help guide you and answer any questions you might have.

The information here is not intended to be nor should be used as a substitute for medical evaluation or treatment by a health care professional. This publication is for information purposes only and the reader assumes all associated risks.

Content experts: Machi Kaneko, M.D., Denielle White, B.S.N., R.N., and Jasmine Reese, M.D.
References:

  1. “Anxiety and Separation Disorders” Pediatrics in Review 2011
  2. “Up to 30% of Youths Will Develop Anxiety Disorders; How You Can Help” American Academy of Pediatrics
  3. “Anxiety Disorders” TeensHealth