Teenagers undergo a period of significant neurobiological growth and physical maturation, amidst often intense social and academic pressures, and it is not unusual for problematic anxiety to manifest during these years. Anxiety in adolescence may present as perfectionism, school avoidance, panic attacks, somatic complaints (headaches, stomach aches), intense social discomfort, or specific phobias. A majority of teens diagnosed with anxiety disorders also experience depressed mood.
Effective treatment plans for teens with anxiety disorders begin with a thorough clinical assessment, and address both the physical manifestations of anxiety, along with areas of avoidance in daily life, with a goal of helping the teen to fully engage in the present in a meaningful way. Treatment may include some combination of: psychoeducation, individual therapy, family therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE), mindfulness training, and group therapy. As no teen is an island, parents and caregivers will be involved throughout the treatment process.