anxiety during adolescence
The median age of onset for any anxiety disorder is 11 (Kessler et al., 2005; Rickwood and Bradford, 2012).
The emergence of anxiety disorders varies according to age (James et al. 2015). Young children may present with indistinguishable anxieties and fears and multiple somatic symptoms (e.g. muscle tension, headache or abdominal pain) and sometimes behavioral symptoms (e.g. outbursts of anger).
The latter may be misdiagnosed as oppositional defiant disorder, as the child tries to avoid anxiety-provoking situations.
Social phobia normally occurs after puberty. Previous research shows that adolescents with anxiety are a particularly underserved population that often does not receive adequate treatment for their anxiety (Kendall & Peterman, 2015) and that many cases of social phobia are first diagnosed 20 years after its onset (James et al., 2015). ). Distinguishing normal, developmentally appropriate worries, fears, and shyness from anxiety disorders is one of the diagnostic challenges in this age group. Adolescents often have concerns and fears about school performance, social competence, and health problems. Untreated anxiety disorders have a relatively chronic course, and adult studies have found that anxiety disorders usually begin in childhood or adolescence (Wenar and Kerig, 2008). Adolescents with anxiety disorders also face a series of serious impairments in interpersonal, leisure and academic functioning (Kendall & Peterman, 2015). Making age groups functional is a difficult task due to the heterogeneity of biological, cognitive, emotional and social maturity in different age groups and the lack of consensus on this point.