by Allison Dea
Girls and anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the United States. In fact, over 40 million people are affected by anxiety disorders at least once in their life. However, it affects females twice as much as males. While anxiety disorders can affect anyone at any age, girls between 10 and 18 years old are especially susceptible for some reason. Experts believe it may have something to do with the hormonal changes in a girl’s body that are going on at this time. 

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders that can affect your daughter. Some of these include separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Separation Anxiety Disorder 

Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) may be a problem if your child is worrying excessively that something bad will happen to you or her if you are not together. This may be evident by avoiding sleepovers, going to school, or having you leave the house for work, errands, or any other reason. She may even get physically ill with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and sleeplessness. 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Although it is normal for your daughter to worry about what others think about her, it is not good when she is so consumed by fear that she avoids people and places. She may stop talking or texting on the phone, avoid her friends, refuse to talk in class, or may even stop going to public places with you or the rest of the family. 

Panic Disorder

This is a very scary situation that will scare both you and her. It can happen out of the blue for reasons unknown to you or her. All of a sudden, she may start to cry or shake, be unable to catch her breath, become dizzy or nauseous. If you have ever had a panic attack, you know how terrifying this can be for an adult, let alone for a child. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If your daughter is having trouble controlling her anxiety and worrying about more than one issue such as the future, her health, and the world in general, this is generalized anxiety disorder. This can be debilitating, cause insomnia, appetite loss, depression, and she may spend more time playing video games or watching television rather than hanging out with others. 

The Good News

Well, the good news is that these disorders are very treatable. You have to get her to talk to someone. Talking to you about her feelings of anxiety is a great place to start but she needs to see a professional if these feelings are causing her enough anxiety to disrupt her sleep, school, and relationships. There are steps you can take to try to help her though.

Validate Her Anxiety

First of all, you need to validate her feelings. Make sure she knows that you understand and that you believe what she is feeling is real. Do not just say “everything will be okay” and expect her to quit worrying because that is not going to happen. When someone tells you not to worry, does that make you stop worrying?

Help Her Figure It Out

Teach her to think about what she feels as if it is a visible thing. Have her think of her feelings like they are little annoying critters that she can see and tell to go away. Have her think about them logically and realize that her worries may not be as bad as they seem. 

Tell Her About Your Own Worries

Let her know that anxiety is a common feeling and that everyone worries sometimes. Tell her some of the things that worry you sometimes. However, keep them simple and short so you do not make her worry about your worries too. 

Have Her Talk to Someone

The best way for her to work this out is to talk to someone who is trained to deal with anxiety disorders. You are her parent but even if you happen to be a licensed therapist, you should leave it to a nonbiased professional. Your daughter will take it more seriously if she hears it from a therapist rather than her own mom, even if you are a therapist! There are plenty of great professionals available to help your daughter and this will help you as well. 

About the Author

Allison-Dea-Betterhelp_0.pngAllison Dea has been with BetterHelp since January 2017. She is currently the Support Team Lead, and  enjoys helping the members and counselors on the platform with any questions or feedback they may have. In her previous life, she was an educator in college campus settings, and believes we are all in “beta mode” looking to improve every day. At the end of the day, she enjoys taking a yoga class, going home and cooking dinner, while pondering ways to become the next Food Network star.

Just a minor correction. "Your daughter will take it more seriously..."

People will take YOUR advice more SERIOUSLY if you don't get your adverbs and adjectives mixed up. :)

I think the article read well. If there were any problems, they didn't distract from the message which was very helpful. Thank you

Really Beth? In this time of turmoil it saddens me to see such petty criticism written by someone providing positive assistance for parents. Not every person writing a blog claims to be an English major. I am also certain bloggers don't hire editors to review their posts. Lighten up. It is exactly this type of online criticism adding to the general anxiety in our country.

Absolutely agree, ridiculous to pick up on something like this considering how important this topic is. So negative.Thank you to the writer of the blog for the advice.

Beth please, go back to school. The writer is indeed very correct in her grammar.

Beth, I understand where you’re coming from. I often stop reading articles or watching shows, etc., if there is bad grammar. Items should be proofread. In today’s world it seems poor English skills are completely acceptable so I am trying to lighten up but it isn’t easy.

if my mother is Haveing brain thaeroid than and she cant understand me and not doing anything to know my feelings i am a doughter and she dont know what to do to overcome my soo much of panicness fear or worry even my father is also nOt understanding me

u do no that it can be hard to talk to parents and definitly a toatall stranger it can make u feel like u r crazy and no 1 will beileive u or wat u r saying they say they want to help but they want u to tell them bout how u feel but u dont no how u feel or u r afraid to talk to them in genral because u have anxiety i dont no if i do totally but this is how i feel all the time how can u say that this will work wen evry day of your life this fear cunsooms u and u have no control over it that your afraid people will juge u or r always staring at u. u say its easy like all u have to do is snap your fingers but its hard for people that dont like talking to the people they love or care about and expeshally people they dont no and its hard to tell your friends cause u think they will juge u even though u no they wont and wen u tell 1 of them u feel like they will think that your anoying or bothersum and the only people you r ok with talking to conplete stranger that is on the other side of the screen that u no wont no who you r all they no is wat u tell them so ya wat u say i think wont work and this is coming from a 12 year old girl so if u think this is coming from a adult its not (sorry if spelling is wrong or if this is offensive)

Just know that when you feel like no one else understands or could, know that many, many others have gone through this too. It is only when we take a chance, to a trusted adult, (maybe school counselor or someone who shows care and responsibility), that you will most likely find they will not judge you but want to help you. No one is perfect and part of life is overcoming things like this. You are totally normal and this is all apart of finding who we are. ❤💕

Anonymous Pre Teen

December 1, 2020

I think I have got more understanding on what I'm going through! Please no rude replies. No grammar corrections. I have been through enough!

Claudia Hernandez

January 11, 2021

I have a daughter she turned 18 she is
very active happy outgoing friendly great singer very smart in school sporty young girl.
Has been dealing with depression and anxiety attacks for 4 1/2 years.
she has gotten to a point where she left everything her entire life school sports college career dreams hopes she cannot cope with depression and I have no we’re tu run to get help for her,
I need guidance I need help I need to save my daughter I know somewhere in there she has gotten lost I need her back I need her to live please help she has the right to live a normal life. She is getting lost in the idea to be living w weed to feel nórmal avoiding living like a zombie control by prescribed high mental medication destroying her ability to be her to feel to breathe to touch to smell to taste to differentiate colors from grey and black. To love to grow