Counseling for Anxiety

Anxiety can take a few different shapes in teenagers.  Social anxiety is quite common as well as panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). 

Social Anxiety in Teenagers

During the teenage years it is common for teenager to be overly concerned about their appearance or behavior when it comes to relating to other teenagers.  This excessive self consciousness is normal.  However, sometimes it can become so intense that if becomes difficult for teenagers to stand the anxiety produced by socializing.  In these cases teenagers can become avoidant of socializing with other teenagers and may retreat to "safer" activities like reading, other solitary occupations or spending time with adults. They do this to avoid the anxiety produced by socializing with other teenagers and it has the added negative side effect of taking teens out of circumstances where they would be forced to practice socializing.  This can produce socially awkward teenagers with low self confidence. 

Bullying may produce intense social anxiety because the somewhat irrational social fear suddenly becomes tangible and very real. 

Panic Disorder in Teenagers

 Panic attacks are intensely fearful physical and psychological responses that happen without an appropriate reason.  If you were being chased down my a tiger if would make sense for your heart to be beating incredibly fast, for you to have an urgent desire to flee, for your breathing to become shallow and rapid, for you to sweat profusely and for you to be scared of immanent death.  When these things happen without the tiger part, which makes all of it make sense, a panic attack may be taking place.

Panic attacks can evolve into other anxiety related disorders like agoraphobia, which literally means fear of the marketplace.  Today we describe it as a fear of being out doors, outside of your house or in other open places.  When people try to avoid panic attacks by staying in their homes they put themselves at risk for developing agoraphobia.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This disorder is often lumped together with anxiety disorders.  The main features are obsessions (unwanted, intrusive and disturbing thoughts that are difficult to get rid of) and compulsions (repetitive illogical behaviors unconsciously designed to ward off or cover up these distressing thoughts).  People who suffer from OCD do may understand the irrationality of their behaviors but find themselves unable to stop them.  These behavior can become so prominent in the person's life that they interfere with that person's ability to hold down a job or establish a meaningful relationship.

Parent Resources

Please read Miami Teen Counseling's Blog to learn more about anxiety disorders in teenagers and for useful information on a variety of issues related to teenagers.  


If you believe your teenager may be suffering from an anxiety disorder and have questions for Miguel Brown call him at 786-664-7426. If you would like to come in to our office please request a Consultation by filling out the form to your right.

By Miguel Brown