Skip to content

5 Symptoms of Anxiety in Teen Girls

Undoubtedly, teen girls have a lot on their plate. They’re figuring out who they are while also navigating academic demands, complicated social situations, and self-image issues. For a teen without anxiety, these are challenging to navigate. For a teen with anxiety, they may feel impossible.

Teen girls who experience anxiety often struggle to identify and name their symptoms. Putting language to an experience helps to externalize it, making teens feel as though they are not their anxiety; rather, they experience anxiety. Understanding the symptoms of anxiety can also help teens communicate more accurately and efficiently with those around them. This means parents, friends, and other loved ones will be more informed and better able to help.

The following list explores some of the common symptoms of anxiety seen in teen girls:

  • Excessive worry: Many teen girls worry about their grades, their athletic performance, and the judgement of their peers. Those who do not experience anxiety may be able to move on from this worry when introduced to evidence to the contrary. Teens with anxiety, however, might be seen looping on the same fears over and over again. For these teens, even though they can understand from a logical perspective that they’re a good enough soccer player or that they’re not hated by their peers, they struggle to internalize counterevidence. Practically, these teens are more likely to ruminate on their worries and are often seen jumping to the worst-case scenario.

  • Talking a lot or shutting down: Teen girls with anxiety may talk rapidly and excessively to fill the space around them as a way to avoid feeling social anxiety. On the flip side, other teen girls with anxiety may feel afraid to speak at all for fear of perceived judgement.

  • Struggling to sit still: Physical agitation is a common feature of anxiety. This can look like restlessness, fidgeting, struggling to sit still, and even shaking. Teens with anxiety tend to present with some sort of heightened physical symptoms of this nature, especially in situations where their anxiety is high.

  • Hypervigilance: Those with anxiety tend to be hypervigilant to the circumstances around them, scanning for information. They may be especially observant of social dynamics and especially sensitive to markers of rejection or judgement. Finally, those with anxiety are likely to feel afraid, as if something awful might happen; this means they may be on constant alert.

  • Irritability: Teen girls with anxiety tend to struggle with relaxation and feeling at peace. This means that they are irritable more often, as they are holding physical tension and are likely experiencing ruminating thoughts. If you’re around a teen girl with anxiety, you may experience her as being snippy, short, defensive, rude, or closed off. These can all be signs of irritability stemming from anxiety.

It can be difficult for people of all ages to identify and come to terms with their experience of anxiety. For teen girls, anxiety symptoms can present in a variety of ways. Those who are helping to support a teen girl with anxiety may benefit from working with her to develop a shared language about her symptoms so that they’re able to more easily communicate.