The word “anxiety” is a common part of our collective vernacular. We feel anxious about an assignment at school. We are feeling anxiety around a difficult social interaction. We’re anxious about a new job or a big meeting. We’ve said the word so much that we often forget that anxiety is also a clinical term.
Anxiety is a normal response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. It’s that feeling in our stomach when we meet a group of new people or have to give a speech or presentation. Normal anxiety comes and goes, but anxiety that persists for longer than six months can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is more than just feeling shy in a social situation or nervous. When those feelings of anxiety become hard to control and affect your day-to-day life, it can be disabling.
Anxiety disorders happen when excessive anxiety interferes with your everyday activities such as going to work or school or spending time with friends or family. Anxiety disorders are serious mental illnesses and they are the most common mental disorders in the United States. Anxiety disorders include:
- Panic disorder: experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times. A person with panic disorder may live in fear of the next panic attack.
- Phobia: excessive fear of a specific object, situation, or activity
- Social anxiety disorder: extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, repeated behaviors
- Separation anxiety disorder: fear of being away from home or loved ones
- Illness anxiety disorder: anxiety about your health (formerly called hypochondria)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): anxiety following a traumatic event
Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States and can reveal themselves through a large number of signs and symptoms. Signs of anxiety in teens can include these common things:
- hot and cold flushes
- racing heart
- tight feeling in the chest or chest pains
- struggling to breathe
- snowballing worries that get bigger and bigger
- a racing mind full of thoughts
- a constant need to check things are right or clean
- persistent worrying ideas that seem ‘silly or crazy’
There are many other indicators of anxiety as well. Anxiety can creep into one’s life for a number of reasons. The fact of the matter is that coping with the symptoms of anxiety can be challenging. It can be difficult to carry out everyday routines when one is battling anxiety. That is why it is important that one receives proper care. If you have a loved one struggling with anxiety, encourage them to seek professional advice to develop a plan for positive change.
Perspective: Anxiety in Young Women
New research shows that women are almost twice as likely to be affected by anxiety as men. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder present in the general population. The goal of these research studies is to direct attention towards these groups and uncover ways to reduce the individual impacts of anxiety disorders. While there is no one cause of anxiety, anxiety in young women can be triggered by hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle, genetics if anxiety disorders run in their family, and traumatic events that could lead to serious health problems, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Women diagnosed with one anxiety disorder are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an additional anxiety disorder, bulimia nervosa, and/or major depressive disorder, while men are more likely to be diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or intermittent explosive disorder. And while there is an effective treatment for dealing with anxiety disorders, women may be less likely than men to seek treatment after experiencing symptoms of mental illness. This is due to “internalized or self-stigma” that results from their self-image being formed by how others perceive them. As a result, young women often avoid having their mental illness treated because they want to prevent others from thinking less of them, which would cause them to think less of themselves. Every person experiences mental illness in their own unique way. Even though there are similarities in the symptoms and impacts of specific mental health conditions, women often face different challenges than men in how they perceive and experience symptoms, and also in how strategies are devised to treat the disorder.
If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, reassure them that there is hope for overcoming. Many therapeutic options exist to help teens confront their symptoms and learn to counteract them.
How Therapy Works
Seeking a therapeutic program to help with anxiety offers many benefits. Individuals are devoting time to focus on their unique challenges and work to improve their overall mental health alongside a licensed professional. Different kinds of therapy work for different people. When choosing the right therapy for a loved one, you should consider their unique needs and what the program offers. Some important considerations include:
The mission of the program: Find a therapeutic program that aligns with your goals and the goals of your young adult. Talk with your daughter about her struggles and what she would like to address during treatment.
Location: Will your loved one benefit more from a city environment or a quieter setting? Would they feel more comfortable in a large residential setting or a smaller home-like community? Would you feel more comfortable knowing they are close by or could they use the experience of visiting a new place away from familiar triggers?
Age range: Young adults need different support and treatment than younger children. It is important to find a program that is designed specifically with your loved one’s age in mind. Young adults may benefit from a program that provides structure but also helps them build life skills that will help them live independently after treatment.
Academics: If your young adult is taking time away from school to receive treatment for anxiety, you may want to consider if they would like to continue working on their education during treatment. Some residential programs may offer opportunities to work toward college credits or attend classes locally or online.
Therapeutic style: There are many different therapeutic styles so it is crucial to find one that will work for your young woman. There is no one size fits all approach to therapy and recovery. Some programs may focus on individual therapy, while others include group, family, and adventure therapy practices. There are also additional therapeutic activities such as building trust and connection with animal therapy or volunteering.
Program requirements: Just as there is no one choice for therapy practices, not every program is appropriate for every young woman. Find a program that specializes in your young adult’s age group and the emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorders your loved one would like to work through.
A transitional living program can help young women on their journey towards managing anxiety symptoms. Residential programs are designed to help young adults with their struggles in a therapeutic environment away from the triggers in their everyday life. Residential programs combine working with clinical professionals and building life skills that young adults can use when they return home. With the help of personal coaching, young adults can learn to lead a healthy lifestyle and cope with any pressures that the outside world may hold – all the while being in a safe environment. In many ways, a transitional living program is the perfect middle ground between being thrust into the bustle of the world and a place to discover oneself.
Journey Home Young Adult provides a nurturing, sober-living environment with a supportive community. Our relationship-based programming helps clients with therapeutic support, life skills refinement, and personal growth. We focus on Five Core Principles: healthy living, education, life skills, personal responsibility, and social integration.
Journey Home Young Adult can help
Journey Home Young Adult is a transitional living program for teens ages 18-23. This program addresses emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders that teens may face. Common presenting problems include depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, body image issues, ADHD and other learning issues, academic struggles and low self-esteem. Journey Home creates an environment conducive to healing where teens can learn healthy coping skills while becoming more well-equipped to launch into adulthood.
We see our clients becoming self-sufficient teens that are ready to lead healthy lives. When our clients transition from Journey Home Young Adult, they will leave as thriving, successful young adults who are prepared with the skills necessary to live independently and demonstrate a pattern of making healthy life choices. Journey Home Young Adult will give them the space, support, and structure they need to continue the process of self-discovery and take their next steps toward the life they want to live. Students leave this program feeling empowered, happy, and healthy. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 855-918-0032.