Teens are facing more depression, anxiety and stress than ever before, studies show. Over half of teens polled said they experience at least moderate stress throughout the school year and a quarter said they experience high stress when school is in session.
Stress management skills have not yet been perfected by these teenagers, and poor stress management leads to long-term stress-related health problems.
With teenage stress becoming such a huge deal, it’s important that family, friends and teens themselves are aware of the health risks these huge amounts of stress pose. Here are just five of the potential health risks for stressed teens.
General Body Pain
When your body is stressed for a long period of time, it begins to ache. This is true whether it’s physical, mental or emotional stress that you are dealing with.
Teenagers under medium to severe amounts of stress are expected to begin complaining of back, muscles and general aches and pains. Teens will likely try to battle these pains with over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but they may be surprised to find the pains return over and over again. The source of the stress must be hunted down in order to make the aches subside.
One of the most frequently complained issue, when dealing with health and stress, is that of an irritable stomach. There can be nausea, diarrhea, stomach pains, improperly digested food and more.
When your stress levels are high, your body can’t operate at peak capacity – you are always on the alert and your body believes you have more important things to deal with then digesting your food.
With on-going stress comes the danger of chest pains. These pains can arrive in various forms, including heart pain, lung pain, difficulty breathing, having a hard time catching one’s breath and so on.
These chest complications should be recognized for what they are – late-stage health issues cause by prolonged stress. Chest issues are a dangerous health risk and a clear sign that stress in a teen’s life is making a big impact.
Loss of Appetite and Sleep
Lastly, the first real sign that family, friends and loved ones may notice when a teen is stressed is a lack of sleeping and eating. This is a late-stage symptom, which makes it even more unfortunate that this is the first symptom that tends to set of warning bells for those around the teen.
If you or a loved one are suffering from stress-related loss of appetite or stress-related insomnia, see a doctor as soon as possible before the stress increases.
Chronic Health Issues
A stressful life can, in some cases, lead to a teen developing a stress disorder – a disorder caused by large amounts of life-threatening stress. This means that the teen may be unable to handle even small amounts of stress later in their adult life. The best thing to do is for the teen to seek out help from a professional, who can then guide them in specific stress management methods and exercises.