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I’m 14 & Constantly Feel Anxious

17 November, 2021
Q Salam, My name is Mohammad and I am really in the dark here. I've been going through some anxiety and mental problems ever since I turned 14.

I do not know if this is just my age, but it’s starting to cloud my mind with negativity and insecurities. I'm not even able to talk at all, or even find peace in my mind. It always feels like my mind has always been working non-stop and it’s starting to affect me even more.

To be honest, I really think I was negative on myself to the point it actually was engraved into my head. Trying to convince me to stop this and focus on what's in front is the hardest thing ever, I really want to fix this.

I basically forgot how it felt to have none of these problems. I pray and read Quran, but these thoughts always have to intrude into my mind and it’s really tiring. I'm even started to forget how to talk to other people since I have low confidence. I've watched so many videos on this, but I just can’t seem to find the answer. It causes me to go back to past conversations and see what I did wrong, or go back to how I say words and form sentences!

Do you have any tips on how I can control my mind?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

At this point in your life, you are between a man-child and an adult. The confusion and inability to make up your mind about certain things is very common among young men your age. It is a part of the growing process.

I kindly suggest you seek out a teen support class or preferably an Islamic youth group for young brothers.

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Try stress-reduction techniques, breathing exercises, dhikr, go to the gym, walk in nature, eat healthy, sleep well, pray.

Ensure you have a solid support system in place as you continue on your growing journey.


As salamu alaykum brother,

I’m sorry to hear about what you are experiencing brother. However, although it may be no consolation, many young people around your age experience similar things.

Turbulent Teens

Brother, what you may be experiencing may be common during this 5th stage of psychosocial development, or better known as the turbulent teens. Not only are you dealing with a changing physical body, raging hormones, but there are also changes taking place emotionally, mentally, cognitively, emotionally, as well as socially. This is a lot to deal with!

Some Changes Experienced During the Turbulent Teens

Teens in your age group may often experience moodiness, concern about body image, lack of confidence/self-esteem, may feel short-tempered at times or act rude towards others, feel confused,  experience sadness, depression, and stress.

Additionally, as this is the age when personal identity and a sense of self emerge in a larger context, it is important that you receive encouragement and support from parents, family, and close friends.

If strong supports are not in place, it may cause you to feel even more insecure and confused about yourself and develop negative thoughts as you are experiencing.

Cloudy and Negative Mind

Issues with cloudy thinking and negativity can be frustrating, but it is something that most people have had to deal with at one time or another. It may be a sign that you are stressed, over-thinking, tired, or otherwise pushing yourself at the moment.

When this happens, try to quiet your mind.

You can do this by breathing deeply and focusing on your breath letting all thoughts pass through your mind.

With practice, this breathing technique (Mindfulness breathing) can quickly calm down a worried, anxious mind, get rid of bad thoughts, and bring peace.

Dhikr is also wonderful for calming one’s mind as a remembrance of Allah is healing. Lastly, by becoming familiar with stress reduction & relaxation techniques you will have a solid skillset to address the issues you speak on. There are many wonderful tips such as the ones mentioned here.

Proper Encouragement

Proper encouragement and validation of self during this phase of growth is important. VWM states: “Those who receive proper encouragement and reinforcement through personal exploration will emerge from this stage with a strong sense of self and feelings of independence and control.

Those who remain unsure of their beliefs and desires may feel insecure and confused about themselves and the future.” In addition, as you are Muslim, supports and encouragement should come from an Islamically based foundation.

While all these are NORMAL thoughts and feelings, you do want to be guided down the Islamic path in regards to what is acceptable behaviors, etc. to Allah swt as a young man. Insha’Allah brother, see if you can talk to your father, uncle, and older brother, or cousin if possible.

Check your local Islamic Center and Masjid to see if there are teen groups for boys. This will be most helpful insha’Allah.

Finding Support and Developing Skills

Brother, it is during these hard times that insha’Allah you will develop coping mechanisms and skillsets to assist you in your feelings of low confidence, intruding thoughts, and negativity.

While you may feel this is a dark cloud, have confidence insha’Allah that you have the ability to push through this dark cloud into the light! Insha’Allah, look into groups/classes geared towards your age group that deals with growing teens such as Teens Talk, Your Not Alone, and Teen Support, in addition to groups the Islamic community may have.

These groups can help you develop skills and gain experience in problem-solving through formatted group classes and sharing of experiences. Your dad or other older male family member may also be of great benefit by guiding you and sharing their experiences.

Conclusion

Brother, your feelings are understandable. As you probably already know, you entered the teen phase of development a few years back. This brings many changes in your body, emotions, cognition, social roles, mental and emotional status as well as self-identity and self-confidence.

At this point in your life, you are between a man-child and an adult. The confusion and inability to make up your mind about certain things are very common among young men your age. It is a part of the growing process, and it is related to hormones and other biological changes.

I kindly suggest you seek out a teen support class or preferably an Islamic youth group for young brothers.

Try stress-reduction techniques, breathing exercises, dhikr, go to the gym, walk in nature, eat healthy, sleep well, pray, and ensure you have a solid support system in place as you continue on your growing journey. This part will not last long! 

We wish you the best!

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general. They are purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.