Anxiety in young people and teenagers

Are you a teenager living with anxiety? Like you’re constantly in your own head, overthinking and worrying about either the past or something that hasn’t happened yet? Maybe you feel like you’re not good enough, not comfortable being yourself and continuously comparing yourself to others? 

Or maybe you feel like you’ve adopted the victim mindset of “Why are always bad things happening to me?”

If anxiety is affecting your life and you find it difficult to cope, we can make a profound difference in your life.

What is anxiety

  • Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress. It's a feeling of fear and apprehension about what's to come.
  • A bit of anxiety in young people is normal. It can help with motivation around school, sport or work and keep them out of danger.
  • Sometimes the feelings dissipate by themselves after talking with family, friends or colleagues.
  • But when these feelings continue and begin to interfere with everyday life, concentrating at school, socialising with friends or enjoying life, then it’s time to find help, as these feelings can be difficult to come to terms with on our own.
  • Speak with your GP or other trusted and qualified health professional and attend Quest for Life’s residential Your Life Matters – for young people program.

How does anxiety affect young people and teenagers?

Anxiety disorders can be serious for young people because they are still developing. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can have long-term effects that continue into adulthood.

School and societal pressures, worry about fitting in, social situations, social media, the climate, sexuality, body image, the future, making sense of the world, family breakdown or loss, can all contribute to feelings of anxiety.


While everyone experiences anxiety differently, and there are many different types of anxiety disorders, here are some common signs and symptoms of anxiety

  • a racing heart
  • faster breathing
  • muscle tension or aches especially neck, shoulders and back
  • excessive sweating or feeling dizzy
  • shaking
  • insomnia
  • ‘butterflies’ or feeling sick in the stomach.
  • worrying about things a lot of the time
  • expecting the worst to happen
  • being unable to relax
  • avoiding places or people, like school or parties
  • spending less time with friends and family
  • having trouble concentrating, paying attention
  • difficulty starting and finishing schoolwork
  • very sensitive to criticism, feeling you’re not good enough
  • feeling annoyed, irritated or restless
  • difficulty getting to sleep at night and waking lots during the night
  • panic attacks
  • headaches and migraines


Speak with your GP or other trusted and qualified health professional and attend Quest for Life’s Your Life Matters – for young people program.

Immediate help

  • Call 000 if your life is in danger
  • For crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Beyondblue website contains many useful forums and resources


Your Life Matters - for young people offers a safe and supportive environment in which young people will be with other young people, exploring life’s questions and choosing to create a more positive future and transform the way they think, feel and live.

Quest for Life offers a nurturing environment in which participants are provided with education, skills, tools and strategies – and fabulous food – all designed to assist young people to manage life’s challenges in a meaningful way.

Program content addresses practical aspects of living well in difficult circumstances and education on how to create an environment for resilience and happiness.

Quest for Life knows how to help: our research results show that participants feel better after attending a program and that this improvement increases over time.

On our programs, you’ll be nourished, educated and supported to create an environment for profound healing.

The Quest for Life Centre is a drug and alcohol-free venue.


Some of these practices can help you to calm your mind and improve your wellbeing and can be found on our toolkit page:

  • Keys to help you sleep better
  • Meditation practices

You may also find some of Petrea King's Podcasts useful to listen to.

Wellbeing resources

  • Wellbeing books Including Your Life Matters by Petrea King – a guidebook for life
  • Meditation CDs including Be Calm, Sleep, Learning to Meditate

If you are living with anxiety, fill in the Contact Form below and one of our Program Advisors will be in touch to answer your questions or work out the most appropriate program for your needs. 

"I’m no longer paralysed by fear and anxiety. Now I can witness the feelings and use them as motivation to make a difference in the way that I can.” Brent (aged 17)

“This place is fantastic. They walk the talk.” Mark (aged 18)


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