Overview of the Anxiety DisorderAnxiety disorders represent a group of psychological disorders that are featured by anxious feelings, worries, and fear. These mental disorders are common in adolescents, as most of them experience an overwhelming sense of dread, anxiety, and worry. The diseases are currently the most prevalent mental health concerns that adolescents face. However, they go mostly untreated despite the significant research on diagnosis and treatment approaches. According to Siegel & Dickstein (2012), untreated anxiety disorders often create problems that can cross over into adulthood and transition to severity. As such, understanding the response and recognition of anxiety in adolescents is an essential aspect of healthcare settings.
Adolescence is a phase of life that is associated with many developmental and psychosocial challenges; including the processing of so many emotions and finding their first loves. The stage of romance is essential for them as it is a growth market for their functioning, self-identity, and capacity for intimacy (Megan et al., 2016). Adolescents experiencing anxiety disorders and in a relationship can experience problems in maintaining connections with their partners. The mental disorder is also characterized by being overly dependent. A partner with the disease tends to have a strong desire for closeness to the other person, continually depending on them for reassurance and support.
Additionally, they find themselves susceptible to overthinking, fearing rejection, getting anxious feelings if a partner doesn't communicate on time, being indecisive, and plotting for all worst-case scenarios. Other common symptoms may include having trouble sleeping and concentrating, experiencing gastrointestinal problems, and having a sense of impending panic (Bandelow et al., 2017). For adolescents experiencing such symptoms, a doctor examines them by assessing their medical history. Diagnosis can be made through functional magnetic resonance, which measures brain function and self-report measures, which includes psychological questionnaires (Dickstein, 2011). The most effective intervention for adolescents experiencing anxiety disorders will be the use of anti-depressants, which provide temporary relief without severe withdrawal.
Critical Analysis of Causes and Intervention
Traumatic events are examples of life experiences that mostly appear to trigger anxiety illnesses in adolescents who are already prone to anxiety. For most individuals, stress may be associated with some underlying medical issues. Examples of health issues include diabetes, heart disease, drug withdrawal or misuse, rare tumors, respiratory disorders, and thyroid problems (Julian, 2015). Having severe illnesses and health conditions can cause worry due to issues like one's treatment and the future, resulting in anxiety.
Additionally, a build-up of such stress due to stressful life situations like the death of a family member and ongoing worry on finances can also trigger anxious feelings. Inherited or genetic factors can also be a factor because anxiety disorders run in families (Anxiety: Causes and Management, 2010). Adolescents who suffer from depression, which is common among the youth, are also at high risk of developing anxiety disorders.
Anxiety interventions are dependent on the nature of anxiety disorder and a person's preferences. In most cases, the response is comprised of combined types of medication and therapy. Self-treatment involves managing anxiety disorder without clinical supervision. The approaches under self-care include stress management, exercises that replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, long baths, aromatherapy, and deep-breathing (Anderson & Shivakumar, 2013). Psychological counselling and therapy is also another form of treatment for adolescents experiencing anxiety. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that aims to alter and recognize all the harmful thoughts in a person that trigger anxious feelings. The kind of intervention also changes the intensity and scale of reactions to stressors and limits negative thinking.
Medications can treat anxiety disorders or might help control some of the mental and physical symptoms. Tricyclics such as clomipramine and imipramine are medications that are used to treat most anxiety disorders (Julian, 2015). Anti-depressants such as serotonin have also demonstrated proper management of the diseases despite their substantial and severe side effects. Other medications include buspirone and beta-blockers (Foose, 2014). However, stopping the anti-depressants after prolonged use might cause withdrawal symptoms such as brain zaps. Therefore, individuals planning to halt their medication or change their approach in treating the anxiety disorder must consult their physician to know how best to do it.
From the interventions presented, most anxiety disorders among adolescents seem to respond well to a combination of treatment. With the new facts and insights on interventions to anxiety disorders, it is clear that the medications cannot be solely effective if not combined with other forms of therapy like counselling. As much as the adolescents experiencing anxiety and in relationships might heal from self-care and treatment with anti-depressants, he or she may need some guidance to stay away from violence in case of any disagreement with their partner. Additionally, some of the drugs might be addictive and have severe side effects that most individuals are unable to take them for the prescribed time. The counselling sessions are essential to eliminate an individual's negative thoughts, which mostly account for all sorts of problems in one's life. One-On-One interaction with a certified therapist helps one to understand the problem and how to deal with it effectively.
Anderson, E. H., & Shivakumar, G. (2013). Effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety. Frontiers in psychiatry, 4, 27. ). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00027Anxiety: Causes and Management. (2010), 5(1), 100-118.
Bandelow, B., Michaelis, S., &Wedekind, D. (2017). Treatment of anxiety disorders. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 19(2), 93-106.
Dickstein, D. (2011). Anxiety in adolescents: Update on its diagnosis and treatment for primary care providers. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 1.https://doi.org/10.2147/ahmt.s7597Foose, T. E. (2014). Anxiety.In Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences (pp. 240-243). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385157-4.01080-0
Julian Hafner, R. (2015). Anxiety disorders.In Handbook of Behavioural Family Therapy (pp. 203-230).Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315685298
Price, M., Hides, L., Cockshaw, W., Staneva, A. A., &Stoyanov, S. R. (2016). Young love: Romantic concerns and associated mental health issues among adolescent help-seekers. Behavioral Sciences, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6020009
Siegel, R. S., & Dickstein, D. P. (2012). Anxiety in adolescents: Update on its diagnosis and treatment for primary care providers. Adolescent health
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