Are you a concerned parent who has wondered “is my teen experiencing stress?” For most teens, stress is the body’s natural way of handling difficult situations. Although stress is often perceived as a negative emotion, it can motivate a teen to find positive solutions to problems. However, stress can get out of control. When left untreated the symptoms of stress can paralyze a teen emotionally and lead to a wide range of mental and physical health issues.
Symptoms of stress are not always easy to identify. A teen may function for several weeks or months as though everything is fine. As the condition worsens, however, the symptoms become more apparent. A common sign that a teen is suffering from stress is an addiction to drugs or alcohol. As the stress gets worse, the addiction becomes more severe.
Is My Teen Experiencing Stress? What Are The Symptoms?
Stress symptoms vary from teen to teen. Some of the most common signs of stress include:
- Feeling nervous, tense or restless
- Developing mood disorders
- Sensing danger or panicking
- Difficulty staying focused or thinking clearly
- Changes in appetite or sleep pattern
- Avoiding people, places, or situations that trigger the stress
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Increased heart rate or blood pressure
- Hyperventilation or rapid breathing
- Fluctuations in temperature – sweating or chills
- Trembling or twitching
- Wearing the body down through worry – fatigue or lethargy
- Digest problems, nausea, cramps, vomiting
In addition, a teen may demonstrate the same behaviors or emotions over and again. They develop a pattern as a result of reacting to certain situations that keep recurring.
Is My Teen Experiencing Stress? What Causes It?
Stress occurs as a result of how a teen responds to a situation, person, memory, or environment. This can play out in various situations including:
Problems at Home
Family problems strike at the core of a teen’s life. While family problems are invariably unavoidable, some problems can trigger stress due to the family dynamic. Family problems can also progressively get worse, lasting for several years.
Stress at School
There is nothing new about school-related stress. Everyone feels it from time to time. However, as the homework piles up, so does the stress. Long hours at school, take-home projects, unhealthy school environments, and conflict with other students can take their toll on the most resilient teenagers.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs as a result of unresolved issues that linger over time. PTSD isn’t always easy to recognize because the associated symptoms of stress may not surface until several years later. PTSD can occur as a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.
Health problems are a leading cause of stress. Terminal medical conditions can cause a teen to worry about their health, life, finances, or their relationship with others. Furthermore, they may feel emotional pain if the medical condition is debilitating.
Stress and Addiction
Stress can often lead to addiction to drugs or alcohol, as a teen may self-medicate to cope with their condition. However, prolonged use of any substance only makes the stress worse. As a result, a teen may have co-occurring disorders: both the addiction and the stress.
Co-occurring disorders form a symbiotic relationship causing both to intensify and slowly worsen. Treatment for stress and addiction requires dual diagnosis. The treatment specialist focuses on treating the stress, not just the addiction. By focusing on the underlying causes of the addiction, a therapist can help guide a client toward lifelong recovery from both conditions.
Is My Teen Experiencing Stress? Learn More at Foothills at Red Oak
If you are suffering from both stress and addiction, or asking yourself “is my teen experiencing stress”, help is available at Foothills at Red Oak. We provide comprehensive detox, rehab, and aftercare to help you manage the symptoms of stress. To find out more, call us at 866.300.5275.