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04-30 Common teen phobias and how they can affect lives

Posted in Mental Health

Common teen phobias and how they can affect lives

The teen years are often a time of transition and adjustment for a young person. Because of this, adolescents may be more likely to experience certain phobias. A phobia is an ongoing fear of certain circumstances or a particular object. They will often do as much as humanly possible to avoid what causes the fear, no matter how irrational it may be. If they are forced to participate in an activity related to the phobia, then they will react with much stress and anxiety as a result. A phobia may be a result of a number of different factors, such as the circumstances of one’s childhood. For example, a traumatic event may have allowed for a phobia to develop.

Specific phobias

Teenagers in particular may be subject to a number of different phobias. These may include a fear of public speaking, which is the most common phobia in both teens and adults. Therefore, this public fear may take place in either a classroom or work setting. This condition may also affect group interaction in such situations, such as when one is expected to respond on the spot or be the center of attention.

Another common phobia that many adolescents experience is performance anxiety. A student may be expected to perform in a dramatic scene for a school play and may naturally be nervous about the experience. Sufferers should realize that they are not alone, as such fear is common in many professional athletes and performance artists. Another prevalent phobia that relates to public situations is a fear of writing in public. This may apply to an action as simple as writing on a piece of paper or writing on a board for a group of people to see.

One serious fear among students in particular that is not particularly surprising is that of sitting exams. As the exam approaches, the individual may even become physically ill at the thought of taking it. Oftentimes, this phobia may be rooted in bad experiences with such testing in the past. The person may even have a strong grasp of the material, but because of their anxiety, the test taking process may not reflect this.

Other common phobias may include that of interacting with authority figures. This may include teachers at school or bosses at work. Such stress may even occur with the child’s parents. There is also the social phobia of the fear of dating. The adolescent may experience tension at the thought of meeting new people or asking for a date. He or she may also have concerns about sharing personal information in a relationship.

Symptoms of Phobias

Phobias may manifest themselves with a number of different symptoms that friends and family should watch for. This may include fear of dying, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking and rapid heart rate. He or she may also experience nausea, lightheadedness, disorientation, dry mouth and dizziness. The individual may also experience a fear of losing control, numbness, sweating or a sensation of choking. If any of these symptoms have been ongoing, then it will be important to receive treatment as soon as possible. Otherwise, phobias will be allowed to persist and perhaps even worsen further over time.


An adolescent will want to see a doctor to be properly diagnosed with the phobia. From there, their treatment will depend on a number of different factors. For instance, the age of the patient will be a factor, along with their medical history and their general health. The extent of symptoms will be a consideration, as well as what therapies or medications are shown to be most effective.

Certain therapies that may be used for such phobias may include cognitive behavioral therapy. The teen will learn how to better manage symptoms of panic and anxiety. Family or individual therapy may also be considered. A consultation with the patient’s school officials may also be appropriate. Certain medications may also be prescribed and these will be helpful in preventing instances of panic attacks. Of course, medication should always be taken as prescribed in order to maximize the effectiveness.

Cognitive behavioral therapy will help the teen to overcome their phobia in an efficient manner over time. This therapy will often include exposure therapy, in which the patient will be exposed to the situation or object of their fear gradually over time. For instance, the person may first look at pictures of what they fear until they no longer fear it. Videos of the object of the phobia may follow. The patient may eventually face with the fear in person, while it is shown from afar behind a glass window.

Overcoming these issues is what drives Sovereign forward and makes us a leader in treating teenagers today. Facing fears is a large step toward a life that is empowering and impactful, which is why it is so important to enroll anyone who is having to deal with these fears as soon as possible. The first step toward a good life is only a phone call away at 877-557-3363.

Contributed by Sovereign Health Writer, Ryan McMaster

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