Teen Stress




I know someone that has a lot of stress put on her. I’m not going to say her name, but I’ll tell you what has happened to her. When she was a teenager she ran away from home to take a breather. She didn’t like hurting her family’s feelings but she did. Now she is an adult and she is smoking pot, drinking, and living with a friend. She and her family still talk, but her family is still hoping and praying that she will stop. I even have a lot of stress, but I have my family and friends when some teens don’t have that. I’m here to tell you signs, symptoms, how to get help, and how they differ from adult stress. It’s never easy going through stress.

I’m going to start out by telling you facts about teen stress. Teen stress is similar to the adult stress in terms of the signs and symptoms. But the cause of teen stress is totally different and teens need somewhat different management programs. It is an estimate that teens from 20% of the total population. They are the neglected group of the population. The adolescent group is the intermediate adulthood. Transitions from childhood to adulthood are never easy. The teenage group is a vulnerable group to both physical and emotional stress. One third of the teenagers suffer at least one episode of stress each week. Though stress has the same kind of response in all age groups, the stress factors are different. pubertal changes, changing relationship with peers, new demands in the school, safety in their neighborhood, responsibilities to their family, negative thoughts and feelings, separation or divorce of parents, death of a loved one, chronic illnesses, changing schools, financial problems, holiday stress. Adolescent medicine is a new concept in the field of medicine. Teens cannot be treated as either adults or children because their problems are totally different. A lot of physical and mental changes happen during this period; this is very significant in the shaping of a person. In a study conducted on the stress and related problems of teens in the city of Baltimore showed that the following figures.

The biggest causes of stress

¨ School work (78%)

¨ Parents (78%)

¨ Romantic relationships (64%)

¨ Problems with friends (64%)

¨ Siblings (64%)

The conclusion of this study is girls are affected more than boys. Girls respond to stress by seeking help from others or by taking certain actions to reduce or remove stress. Boys respond to stress by not dealing with the stress at all or by engaging the mind away from sources of stress. Family and friends are both sources of stress and support for teenagers. Teenagers use both healthy and unhealthy ways to cope up with stress.

Now I’m going to tell you physical changes that happen. There is the increase of weight, an increase of height. Their voice will be different (change). They will development of secondary sexual characters. There will be menarche (beginning of menstruation) in girls. There will also be mental changes. There will be feelings of independence, attraction towards the opposite sex. They will have aggressive behavior, and they will experiment new things including substance of abuse.

What would you define stress as? Most people define stress as worry, tension and pressure, but not all stress is bad. Some stress can be happy, exciting and challenging. Life would be dull without stress. Like if you’re in a competition and you feel nervous, it keeps you alert and focused.

What causes stress to be good or bad? Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about a situation can make stress good (pleasant) or bad (unpleasant). Like if you are moving to a different place, and you’re happy and excited about it, that would be a good kind of stress. But if you are very unhappy about it than that would cause bad stress. Situations that cause us to fell happy, excited, surprised, etc, can be good stressors. Then there are the situations that cause us to be sad, scared, mad, etc, are considered bad stressors.

What is a good (happy, excited, etc) stressor for you? What is a bad (sad, scared, etc) stressor for you? You should ask yourself that, and think of ways you can change the bad to good.

Is too much stress bad? Yes too much stress can be bad. It can have a negative effect on one’s body, mind, and feelings. How you handle your stress has a lot to do with your health as well. When stress becomes too frustrating and lasts long periods, it can become harmful distress. If you have signs of stress you have to watch out.

Some signs of stress are; Physical (body) = headaches, nervousness, rashes, stomachaches, fast heartbeat, perspiration, increased urination. Mental (mind) = lack of concentration, forgetfulness, drop in school performance, unable to study, carelessness. Emotional (feelings) = bored, anger outbursts, nightmares, sad/depressed, scared, withdrawn, fighting.

What is a sign of stress for you? How do balance the stress in your life? Stay aware of your signs of stress. If you have stress follow these tips to help you handle your stress. Take deep breaths/ practice deep breathing exercises. Watch your thoughts/ think positive. Find time to relax and cool out. Pray or read something inspirational. Visualize what you want to happen. Use pressure points to reduce headaches, talk problems over with a friend or counselor. Don’t dwell on your weaknesses; Feel proud of your accomplishments, Exercise daily. Do muscle tension relaxation exercises. Punch a pillow, scream or kick a can, Prepare for tests early. Eat a nutritious meal or snack, Take one thing at a time, and Set realistic goals. Stop worrying about things that may never happen. Learn from your mistakes. Forgive yourself and others. Get involved with things you like to do. Make time for fun, do something for others. Use the four steps to problem solving: brainstorm solution, think of the consequences, choose a solution, and evaluate your choice. Other management skills for teens are: taking deep breaths accompanied by thoughts of being in control (“I can handle this”). Use progressive muscle relaxation, (repeatedly tensing and relaxing large muscles of the body) setting small goals and breaking tasks into smaller manageable chunks. Exercising and eating regular meals, and avoiding excessive caffeine. You can focus on things you can control and let go of things you cannot control. Rehearsing and practicing feared situations (public speaking or asking someone out on a date). Talking about problems with others; including parents, older adults and friends. You can lower unrealistic expectations, and schedule breaks and enjoyable activities; such as music, art, sports, and socializing. Accepting yourself as you are and identifying unique strengths and build on them, realizing no one is perfect.

Enter middle school, many girls and boys are staggering under the pressure of more weighty backpacks. Also they face jam-packed schedule hours of work, heightened expectations, demanded social lives, and far too little. Stress can lead to cutting, bad mistakes, and suicide. The teens that get too much stress put on them just give up, and that makes their body shut down, and they die. Teens need to figure out they have someone to care, someone they can unload their problems to, someone there no matter what. If you have stress you need to talk to someone before it gets to serious.

You got to know that no one is ever perfect. You should talk to someone even if you are scared they wont listen. You could talk to someone you don't know, you could talk to someone you, it would be your choice.

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Causes of Teen Stress

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Worksheet

1. What percent of the population of teens have stress?

2. Can stress be dangerous? How?

3. Can dancing be a good or bad stressor?

4. How many kinds of items can lead to stress?

5. Can people die from stress?

True or false

People start doing drugs because of stress

Relationships don't lead to stress