Allie Sevdalis always knew she was more anxious than others, but her issues eventually came to a head when she was sitting in her high school lunch room and her friend wanted to go sit with another group of people.
"I physically could not get up to go because I was scared of what they would think of me," the 17-year-old said in a HuffPost Live segment yesterday. "There wasn't any logical reason why I was anxious about the whole situation, but I just couldn't."
This was Allie's turning point when she decided to do something about her anxiety. Watch more in the clip above.
"I really needed to change because life was just not anything worth living because I was so scared of everything and so anxious," she said. "I started going to therapy and talking and figuring out the root causes and fixing it so I could live my life."
Allie hosts a YouTube channel with over 40,000 subscribers. While she usually talks about health and beauty tips, the teen posted a video in February 2012 titled "My Battle with Social Anxiety & How I Overcame It." She discusses how she came to terms with her anxiety and opened a dialogue about what it means to be a young woman battling this disorder. The video has more than 97,000 views.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 8 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 have an anxiety disorder, and according to a study published in January 2013, teenage girls are almost twice as their male peers to show signs of mood disorders at 14 to 20 percent.
HuffPost Women editor Emma Gray recently wrote about women and anxiety before appearing on HuffPost Live alongside Allie.
I have come to know my anxiety like a close "frenemy," and the more I talk about her, the more I find that other women relate. When we've reached a point where 23 percent of American women are all struggling with the same demons, it's time to start talking about them and confronting them -- collectively.
What do you think about Allie's story? Can you relate to her experience with anxiety? Tell us in the comments or tweet at @HuffPostTeen.