According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 7.1% of kids ages 3–17 have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That’s over 4.4 million people under the age of 18 known to suffer from anxiety. 1 Unfortunately, this growing trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, as teen anxiety has been consistently on the rise each year over the last few decades, rising 20% between 2007 and 2012 alone.4 What’s worse, according to a Children’s Mental Health Report, 80% of kids with diagnosable anxiety are not getting the treatment they need. This is an alarming statistic, considering one in three teens will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder by the time they reach age 18, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Untreated anxiety in childhood can lead to more serious mental health issues later on, in adulthood. This is partially due to the coping skills that teens develop during these times. If not treated, kids who suffer from anxiety will naturally seek out pain-relieving coping methods to help numb their symptoms, including turning to drugs and alcohol for relief. Other coping mechanisms include changes in eating habits, self-isolation, self-harm, engaging in risky behaviors, and addictions to technology, social media, music, exercise, shopping, and more.
It’s also quite common for teens who suffer from anxiety to experience depression and/or behavioral problems. One in three teens diagnosed with anxiety is also diagnosed with depression, while another one out of three teens diagnosed with anxiety struggles with a behavioral problem.1 The likelihood of developing one of these conditions only increases as teens grow older. This makes the need for early intervention and treatment of the utmost importance.