Growing Pains or Something More: How to Help A Young Adult With AnxietyNovember 19, 2020
Feeling anxiety is an expected part of life. You may feel anxious when interviewing for a job or taking an exam. You may feel your anxiety rise when it’s time to make an important life decision. But anxiety disorders are more than a temporary worry or fear. For young adults struggling with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can even get worse over time. These feelings can interfere with daily activities and relationships.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. Young adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. GAD symptoms may include:
- Feeling restless or on-edge
- Becoming easily fatigued
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Tight or stiff muscles
Social anxiety is another common disorder in young adults. They may worry that their actions or behaviors are being judged by others, which can lead to feelings of embarrassment or shame. These intense feelings often cause people with social anxiety to avoid social situations and it can manifest in a range of situations from interacting in the workplace to meeting new peers. Symptoms of social anxiety disorders may include:
- Physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, or trembling
- Avoiding situations where they may be the center of attention
- Experiencing anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
- Spending time after a social situation analyzing their performance and identifying flaws in their interactions
- Expecting the worst possible consequences during a social situation
Young adults may be experiencing high levels of anxiety for a variety of reasons. For some, there may be high expectations or pressure to succeed. That pressure could come from their family or it can be internal pressure. When young adults have high expectations for themselves, anything less than perfect can feel like a failure. Another cause of anxiety is the prevalence of social media in most young adults’ lives. Self-esteem can easily become tied to the responses they receive on social media posts, or the comparison they see when they log onto their social media accounts. It’s hard for young adults not to compare themselves to what they see on social media. When social media and high expectations come together, it can make for a dangerous combination for young adults’ mental health.
When young adults are experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, a therapeutic treatment program can help. There, young adults are able to explore their personal goals, discuss their challenges, and create a plan with mental health professionals to address their anxiety disorder.
Trails Momentum Can Help
Trails Momentum is an adventure therapy program that helps young adults ages 18-25 who struggle with anxiety, depression, and direction during the transition to adulthood. Momentum can help overcome feelings of being stuck and overwhelmed and teach new skills to guide students along their journey into adulthood. We work with young adults who are actively interested in cultivating authentic relationships with others, solidifying their identity as individuals, continuing or revisiting their education, and seeking the skills necessary to feel confident and successful as adults. For more information please call (828) 457-8840.