Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency


It is normal for our bodies to prepare us for challenges by giving us an increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, muscle tension, sweats, shakes and a feeling of butterflies in the stomach (this often happens when making a speech or doing an interview), this is anxiety. Anxiety is worry. It is an emotion that we all feel when we are faced with challenges. Anxiety, at times, can be useful as it helps us prepare for and perform tasks. However, when anxiety becomes an illness it is called an anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety disorders are even more common than depression with roughly 25% of young people aged 12 to 25 experiencing anxiety (Kessler et al 2005). 

Anxiety disorders occur when the anxiety becomes intense, causes distress, lasts a certain amount of time (not just a few days) and affects day to day living. People with anxiety disorders can experience these physical sensations often or can have repeated occurrences, called panic attacks. 

There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders, to find out more about them go to www.yourmentalhealth.ie and www.reachout.com 

Adapted from Foroige’s Mental Health Resource 

You might be concerned you’re your teenager has an anxiety disorder, remember there is help out there for you and your family: www.tusla.ie www.hse.ie 

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