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Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the world. Symptoms of anxiety in teen girls include intrusive worrying, which can interfere with daily activities and concentration; physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue; and social withdrawal. Recognizing these symptoms of anxiety in teen girls early can help in seeking appropriate support and treatment.

Anxiety in teen girls can be overwhelming, affecting their daily lives and relationships. Persistent worrying, physical symptoms like headaches and fatigue, and social withdrawal are common signs that often go unnoticed.

This article explores the common symptoms of anxiety in teen girls.

Symptoms of Anxiety in Teen Girls

Anxiety in teen girls often manifests as physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches, emotional symptoms such as persistent worrying and low mood, behavioral symptoms such as avoidance and irritability, cognitive symptoms such as loss of focus or memory problems, and social symptoms such as isolation and withdrawal. Anxiety symptoms can significantly impact a teen’s daily life and overall well-being. Here are some of the most common symptoms of anxiety in teen girls:

Physical Symptoms

Despite being a mental health condition, anxiety can also induce physical symptoms. In fact, panic attacks, which are a common symptom of a severe anxiety episode or a panic disorder, often feel like heart attacks.

People who experience panic attacks for the first time may call an emergency department, mistaking it for a heart attack. In both cases, you can experience severe chest pain, feelings of impending doom and sudden, inexplicable shortness of breath.

But you don’t have to experience a panic attack to experience some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. Whether acutely or as long-term symptoms, anxiety can come with:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nervous sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Muscle tension, headaches, and neck pain
  • Upset stomach or nausea

Emotional Symptoms

Feelings of worry and dread characterize anxiety disorders, but they can differ from condition to condition.

For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a form of anxiety disorder where discomfort stems from an intrusive obsession, coupled with a compulsive, sometimes ritualized behavior that can distract from or satisfy the obsession. In other cases, like social phobia (social anxiety disorder), a main emotional symptom might be the recurring worry that other people are judging your every thought and action.

Other emotional symptoms aside from worry include:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of being on edge or constantly tense
  • Sense of impending danger or panic
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Difficulty managing fear
  • Behavioral Symptoms

Behavioral symptoms describe the actions some people take to help cope with their anxieties, or because of these anxieties. It’s normal to act on our fears and worries – we want to avoid the things we’re scared of or distract ourselves from our fears.

But sometimes, especially when an anxiety is irrational, intrusive, and recurring, those behaviors can come across as strange or they can negatively impact our day-to-day life, such as anxiety-related self-harm or sleeplessness. Some examples of behavioral symptoms tied to anxiety disorders in teen girls include:

  • Avoidance of situations that trigger anxiety
  • Ritualistic behaviors or compulsions to reduce anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • Difficulty with daily activities or schoolwork
  • Seeking reassurance from others excessively
  • Nail-biting or other nervous habits
  • Withdrawal from social activities or relationships

Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms are the ways anxiety can affect a teen’s thinking, including their ability to focus, to retain information, and to use that information when making decisions.

Anxiety can negatively influence our decision-making, fill us with dread when there’s no reason to worry, or make it harder to focus on the task at hand.

Anxiety also often goes hand-in-hand with catastrophizing, wherein you get an intrusive thought about a negative “what-if” scenario, and let that scenario run wild in your mind. Rumination is another common cognitive symptom of anxiety, wherein you repeatedly think about distressing situations without finding a solution to break out of the cycle.

In teens, certain social media usage can make the cognitive symptoms of anxiety worse, through “doomscrolling”. Algorithms feed users the content they’re looking for the most, and during bad bouts of anxiety, teens might inadvertently seek out negative or hateful content. Other cognitive symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Excessive worry or rumination
  • Catastrophic thinking or expecting the worst outcome
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Intrusive thoughts or images
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Heightened sensitivity to criticism or perceived threats

Social Symptoms

Social symptoms of anxiety in teens often manifest as avoidance of social interactions and activities, stemming from fear of judgment or embarrassment.

Teens experiencing anxiety symptoms might want to isolate themselves and can have a harder time maintaining friendships with other teens. For some teens with anxiety, social situations can become incredibly distressing, such as speaking in class or attending social gatherings. These symptoms can severely impact a teen’s social development and overall quality of life:

  • Fear of embarrassment or humiliation in social situations
  • Avoidance of social gatherings or public speaking
  • Difficulty communicating assertively or expressing oneself
  • Feeling misunderstood or alienated from peers
  • Overanalyzing social interactions or past events

Teen Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety disorders are overwhelming. For teen girls, anxiety disorders can heavily affect their academic and social lives; teens with anxiety are more likely to struggle at school, trail behind their peers, and suffer worse outcomes in life.

At Visions Treatment Centers, we specialize in helping teens manage their anxiety through personalized inpatient treatment and compassionate long-term care, involving friends and family members in the process. Discover how our expert team can support your teen in overcoming anxiety and reclaiming their life—schedule a consultation with Visions Treatment Centers today.


Recognizing and addressing anxiety in teen girls is crucial. Early intervention can prevent the escalation of symptoms and improve their quality of life, helping them learn to cope with anxiety, adopt healthy self-care strategies, and leverage support from their peers and family members.

Parents, friends, and educators can help by being vigilant to potential signs of anxiety and providing timely support by encouraging therapy and treatment. Learning more about the symptoms of anxiety in teen girls can make an early intervention possible.