Teenage Stress
Specializing in Teenage Stress Issues
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Teenage Stress

September 1st, 2009 . by admin

Any adult who doubts that teenage stress is a real problem affecting a large number of teenagers, only needs to cast their mind back to their own teenage years and recall their own experiences to realize how prevalent teenage stress is, and how difficult it can be. In recent years, the amount of stress in young people’s lives seems to be increasing, and stress seems to be present in their lives earlier and earlier. Recent survey results show that one third of all teenagers experience stress at least once per week.

Given the near impossibility of determining what normal teenage behavior is, it can be difficult, to say the least, to recognize the onset of teenage stress. The fact that teenagers are particularly reluctant to ask for help, makes it very important to detect the signs, both physical and emotional, of behavior which indicates some form of stress. These can include obvious physical signs such as headaches and nausea, and less obvious, but equally important emotional ones such as feelings of uneaseiness, or not having fun, or even more obvious symptoms like edginess and even anger.

The causes of teenage stress may appear trivial by comparison to the stresses which we experience as adults, which are associated with our responsibilites. However, to teenagers their suffering is very real, and can be very difficult to deal with. The good news is that, with the right encouragement, teenagers’ ability to cope with the stresses in their lives can be improved enormously. The benefits of being able to do so can be far reaching and long lasting, since the habits learned in adolesence carry through well into adult life.

 

 

 

The first thing to learn is how to avoid a build up of stress in the first place, and this can be accomplished by following some simple, yet effective guidelines. These include eating right, getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and excess caffeine. Encouraging teenagers to spend time in activities which they actually enjoy, whether it’s reading, writing, music, or sports, will also allow them to be removed from constant sources of stress, like cell phones, email, IM, texting, and social media. It should also allow them to relax, and prevent both the reality and the perception of their time being over committed.

The more that teenagers realize that there is a support network to help them through their problems, the easier it can be for them to learn how to cope. That way, they can learn to talk openly about the causes of their stress, and as a result, explore potential cures and remedies which might help. Typically, they need to know that adults will keep the lines of communication open, so that they can make use of them when the need arises.


Of course, this need will always arise when you least expect it, and when you are least ready to deal with it. However, that’s when it really matters to be there for them. And, to paraphrase, the 3 rules of dealing with teenage stress for you as an adult can be summarized as: listen, listen, and listen. It’s your opportunity to act as a model for them to emulate, by listening in a way which provides support and encouragement.




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Teenage Stress: 3 Major Factors to Consider

January 1st, 2010 . by admin

Parents should treat teenage stress education just as importantly as they do any other topic in a teenager’s educational curriculum, including substance abuse education, or sex education. So says Dr Carl Pickhardt, a psychiatrist in Austin, Texas and author of several books, the most recent of which include The Connected Father, The Future of Your Only Child, and Stop Screaming. Here are some of his thoughts on what he describes as the hard half of parenting, and in particular, dealing with teenage stress issues.

There are three major aspescts of teenage stress to consider: its causes, its warning signs, and how to guard against its onset.

 

Looking first at the causes, it boils down to teenagers having a feeling of not being able to cope with the demands being placed upon them. There is a sense of not having the resources to cope with these demands, and a concern about the consequences of their not being able to cope. The predominant emotion is anxiety over this apparently overwhelming demand.

 

Looking next at the warning signs of teenage stress, here are 4 major clues to watch out for:

  • constant fatigue stress can wear you out and make you feel tired all the time

  • persistent discomfort stress can actually hurt, since both mind and body register stress

  • burnout stress can cause depression, and change what you care about

  • breakdown stress can be debilitating, and leave you unmotivated

 

So, we see that in order to guard against the onset of stress, teenagers have to avoid creating excess demands upon themselves. There are three major sources of this excess demand, and they are: goals, standards, and limits. Let’s look briefly at each of these in turn.

 

There’s nothing wrong with teenagers setting very ambitious goals for themselves. However, they have to learn that this comes at the price of putting a lot of demand on themselves. This is especially true if they are setting lots of ambitious goals in lots of different areas of their lives. It’s only natural for teenagers, just like the rest of us, to want to succeed in everything that they do; the “trick” is to be aware from the outset that they are creating the potential for stress. Then, hopefully, they can avoid the pitfall of over-commiting themselves, or if they do fall into that trap, at least be able to recognize when they do, and take appropriate steps. Even teenagers have only so much time and energy in any one day.

 

The same arguments apply to teenagers setting standards for themselves, where again they need to guard against putting undue pressure on themselves by a tendency to seek perfection in everything they do. This would be as good a time as any for them to realize that perfection is a fallacy. Setting limits is as much about teenagers placing limits on their desire to fulfill what they see as their obligations to others, as it is about them setting limits on their efforts to fulfill their own wants.

 

So it’s not difficult to see that the higher the goals, standards and limits that teenagers put on themselves, the higher the demands they place on themselves, and the greater the chance that they will put themselves under stress from over demand. The good news is that the ability to set challenging and yet realistic goals, standards, and limits is not somehow pre-ordained at birth. It is in reality a learned skill, which teenagers can develop gradually as they grow in maturity and confidence in their own abilities. It is a skill from which they can derive enormous benefit not just in dealing with teenage stress, but also throughout the rest of their lives.

 

 

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