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  • Lioba de Graff

Anxiety in Teenagers

In the UK, anxiety is now a common mental health problem among teenagers. A perfect environment for anxiety to flourish among this vulnerable group has been created by the fast-paced, constantly

evolving character of modern society, in combination with academic pressures, social media influence, and expectations from families.

The rise in anxiety among teenagers in the UK is caused by a number of factors. Firstly, academic pressure is very significant. High-stake exams, strong competition within the educational system, and an emphasis on accomplishment can all cause a great deal of stress in teenagers. In addition, social media may worsen anxiety in teenagers because they expose them to romanticised and idolised pictures, social comparisons, cyberbullying, and the fear of being left out. Teenagers' anxiety is made worse by society’s expectations on achievement and future prospects, peer pressure, economic uncertainty, and family and societal pressures considering future possibilities.

Teenagers' general well-being can be significantly impacted by anxiety. Anxiety can have physical effects like headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, tense muscles, and a weakened immune system. Mental symptoms of anxiety include constant worry, unjustified fears, difficulty concentrating, and overwhelming feelings and emotions. Anxiety frequently causes emotional symptoms such as restlessness, impatience, low self-esteem, and a loss of interest in once-favourite activities. Additionally, anxiety can have a severe effect on a student's ability to achieve academically, create social connections, and grow personally.

Confronting anxiety among teenagers in the UK requires a multifaceted strategy including private citizens, institutions of higher education, and government officials. Firstly, it's important to raise awareness about anxiety and its impacts. Training should be provided to parents, educators, and healthcare professionals so they can identify teenage anxiety symptoms and offer the right kind of assistance as soon as possible, before things are worsened. Schools should include lessons on mental health in their curriculum, encouraging emotional health and stress-reduction techniques.

Early intervention is also essential. For worried students, schools can provide access to school counsellors or mental health specialists who can provide support and direction. Teenagers can also find a secure place to share their experiences and get assistance from their peers by starting peer support groups or mentoring programmes. Exercise has been shown to lower anxiety levels, therefore participating in physical activities and encouraging a healthy lifestyle can be very helpful.

Technology can surprisingly also help those who are anxious in a beneficial way. Developers and social media platforms can add tools that support better online conduct, like resources for mental health assistance and rewards for kind interactions. Increasing financing and resources for mental health should be the main focus of government activities in order to guarantee that all youth have access to timely and reasonably priced mental health services.

Teenage anxiety in the UK is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by all relevant parties immediately,  so it doesn't  affect too many more teenagers. 

Here is a short feature trying to portray the thought going through somebody’s head while having an anxiety attack:

My heart is pounding so fast, it feels like it's going to burst out of my chest. Why won't it slow down? Why won't these thoughts just stop? It's suffocating, like I can't breathe. My palms are sweaty, and I can't seem to get a grip on reality. Everything feels so overwhelming right now.

I wish I could just calm down, but it feels impossible. My mind is spiralling, going through every worst-case scenario imaginable. What if I embarrass myself? What if everyone notices? The fear of judgment is paralyzing. I can't shake off this sense of impending doom.

Why is everything so terrifying? I feel trapped in my own mind, like I'm drowning in a sea of worries. It's hard to explain to others how I'm feeling. I don’t want to either. They might not understand the intensity of these emotions. They might think I'm overreacting or seeking attention. But it’s real, and it's consuming me.

I wish I could escape from this relentless cycle of fear and panic. I want to break free from these chains that hold me back. But it's like there's a constant battle inside me, between wanting to hide away from the world and wanting to conquer my fears.

Maybe if I could just take a deep breath and remind myself that this will pass… Maybe if I focus on grounding techniques, like feeling the texture of the objects around me, it could help bring me back to reality. But right now, it feels impossible to find that calmness within.

I long for someone to understand, to lend a hand and tell me that it's okay, that I'm not alone in this. I need reassurance that these feelings won't last forever. It's hard to see beyond the fog of anxiety, but I know there's hope somewhere out there.

I just have to hold on, ride out the storm, and remind myself that I am stronger than this. But it’s really hard. And before I know it I’m back in this endless cycle of distress.

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