According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents, ages 13 to 18, will experience an anxiety disorder. This is an approximate 20% increase from 2007. Why are teens so stressed?
There are three major reasons for the increase in anxiety for teens according to the American Academy for Pediatrics:
- High expectations/pressure to succeed-pressures to perform well on high-stakes testing
- A scary/threatening world-war, school lock-down drills, pandemic
- Social media-constantly being judged and judging themselves based on other’s social media posts
How do we help students with anxiety?
- Be aware of the signs: changes in behavior, avoiding activities, dropping grades, trouble sleeping, risky behavior, chronic complaints of sickness.
- Talk to students about stressors and help them to cope.
- Set realistic expectations for students.
- Encourage students to take breaks from social media.
Most importantly, encouraging students to make healthy choices and promoting a healthy lifestyle can be very helpful in decreasing a student’s anxieties.