Teens with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) typically experience excessive worrying and low self-esteem. The most common teen anxiety disorder, GAD is very treatable. Onset can be as early as age 6, but symptoms usually appear around age 11.
One type among a number of anxiety disorders, GAD is characterized by excessive anxiety or worry over everyday events, which lasts for a prolonged period of time. Teens with generalized anxiety experience intense emotional stress, as well as a range of anxiety-related symptoms. Researchers theorize that the causes of general anxiety disorder include a disruption in how the brain reacts to the signals it uses to identify and confront danger.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include inability to control feelings of worry and stress, restlessness or edginess, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems.
There are many approaches to generalized anxiety disorder treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, experiential therapies, and mindfulness practices, such as yoga and meditation, are all effective in helping teens recover from an anxiety disorder.
Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, TeenMentalHealth.org