Stress in Teenagers

Published: 03rd March 2006
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Adults experience stress from their work and from all the responsibilities they need to fulfill. Since teenagers don't really shoulder much responsibilities, does this mean that they don't experience stress? The fact is many teenagers feel stress. This happens when they find themselves in situations that are dangerous (facing a bully), difficult (facing a strict teacher), and painful (facing loss of a loved one). The stress is increased because, unlike adults, teenagers do not have all the resources they need to cope with such situations.

Parents must help their teenagers cope with stress. And the first step is to identify the possible sources of stress.

One major source of stress is the school life of the teen. The pressing demands of the school and the frustrations from low test scores and unfinished assignments can drain a teenagers energy.

The problems of friends can weigh heavily on the teenager's mind. Friendship is most important among teenagers. They easily empathize and they desperately want to help.

The changes in their bodies bother the teenagers. They may feel too tall, too simple, too chubby, or too gauche. In the adolescents' world, where fitting in is of utmost importance, such bodily changes may make them an outcast. And this predicament gives teenagers stress.

The separation or divorce of parents is a source of stress of teenagers. With the changes in their lives, they are likely to think that they are the cause of their parents' decision to separate or divorce. They blame themselves. And they envy classmates or friends whose families are still in tact.

The death of a loved one, a brother, sister, parent, or a close relative, can certainly give a teenager a brutal emotional blow. They are at the threshold of their exciting lives and they are not prepared to cope with losing someone important.

Teenagers are sensitive to severe family problems, such as chronic illness or financial mess. No matter how much the parents try to hide them or shelter teenagers from them, family problems can still make a teenager worry to the point that he will ignore everything else, such as school and friends.

An unsafe neighborhood can stress a teenager. Even if no one physically attacks a teen, he or she will always have morbid thoughts about what can possibly happen to him or her in that certain neighborhood.

A new community or a new school will make a teenager less confident about his or her own place or role. Being uprooted from a familiar environment and being put in the middle of new faces may be disconcerting for adults, but for teenagers, this can be downright scary.

And lastly, having too many activities or needing to meet too high expectations can stress the teenager. Many adults do not have time management skills. Thus, it is illogical to expect any teenager to cope with too many activities all at once. And this situation causes stress.

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