Anxiety disorders in teens


Samera Abubakar, Staff Writer

Anxiety disorders in high school teens have risen.

In a big busy world, most people are bound to know what anxiety feels like. Anxiety is a natural way the brain makes a person feel prepared and alert. The symptoms can vary from overthinking, abnormal worry, feeling agitated, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, being afraid something bad might occur, and having irrational fears.

So, what is the cause of anxiety in teens?

“There isn’t a cause for anxiety… everyone differs… anxiety can be caused by schools, problems outside of school…just about anything can cause anxiety,”says Justin Salazar, a professional clinician at Renton Area Youth and Family Services (RAYS).

“All things can cause anxiety and sometimes there isn’t a cause, it can be genetic…not everyone with anxiety deals with these symptoms and not everyone who has these symptoms deals with anxiety,” Salazar continues.

There are levels to anxiety, being anxious before walking into a test is a normal amount of anxiety the brain releases onto an individual, this is called mild anxiety.

Another level would be moderate anxiety; it’s similar to mild anxiety, experiencing day-to-day basis during these situations, it can be a person placing their complete attention on a situation ignoring everything else around them.

Going into loopholes of thoughts is severe anxiety, the highest level of anxiety to the point a person can’t think rationally and experiences severe panic.

Anxiety is not always a debilitating problem that stops a person from living their life, it can be more of a constant white noise, a regular narration inside a person’s mind of things that can go wrong and why they should be worried about it happening, spending most of their time planning for eventualities of WHAT IF the worst happens and how they can prepare themselves for it.

Anxiety is like a crossed wire. A person can’t choose between “things I should worry about and everything else, instead I worry about it all at once,” says Hannah, a junior at Renton High.

There are several ways to reduce anxiety. Sometimes anxiety is not caused by a problem that can easily be moved on from. Controlling the breathing is a way to calm down both a person’s body and mind. Using the mantra “in…1..2..out…” for regulation.

With a mental illness, just like a physical illness, there is treatment.

Inside the high school there are numerous staff members who have potential to be understanding people who can guide students to proper help. There are different types of ways a student can access help during those time, talking to school counselors, downloading apps (Calm, Happily, Headspace, Mood path, etc). Professional providers in the school, and the school’s Healthpoint Clinic, a school based health center that is in partnership with Renton Area Youth and Family Services (RAYS) both areas providing behavioral health services at the clinic.

For teens at Renton High School who may be experiencing these symptoms or need someone to talk to there is help, visit the clinic or call the number below to schedule an appointment, there are also links to apps linked below.


Healthpoint Clinic
● 425-424-6310

Crisis Text, Line
● Text CONNECT to 741741Headspace App
● App

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