What is teen stress and why is does it affect teenagers to such a degree?
Teen stress jumps onto our newspapers and into our lives on a frequent basis. High school shootings and teenage crises are all a by product of teen stress.
I remember my time as a teen very vividly. My teen stress levels were really high. Drink, drugs, divorce...the teen years can be really challenging.
Looking back now I like to think that becoming a teen is a bit like being given a high powered car.
The only thing is, is that no one has shown us how to drive it!
We were children one day and then the next we're stuck in an adult's body with all the emotions (and sometimes responsibility) to go with it. This is what becoming a teenager felt like to me.
Suddenly we're 'driving' in the fast lane but we keep bumping and crashing into things. And we keep getting blamed for this. How are we meant to pick anything up!
And some of the things we are meant to learn are so powerful. Like love, for instance.
We learn the joy of falling in love for the first time. But then we learn how it feels to fall out of love! Each as amazing and painful as the other!
The Fear of Speaking Up
Most of the time stress is increased because as teens we feel too frightened to speak.
We feel we will be ridiculed by asking questions or getting things wrong.
In some cases the support is there but the fear stops the teen from asking.
I know that the fear of being ridiculed stopped me from telling anyone what I was going through. I didn't talk to anyone about anything personal for years.
You asked me a question as a teenager and I would reply with a nod, a shake of the head or a stare. I found the stare worked the best!
To ask questions or to seem like you didn't know what you were talking about wasn't the 'done' thing.
I kept my feelings and thoughts inside until they all exploded from time to time. I always wondered where they came from! But this wasn't very healthy or helpful.
Lack of Support & Misunderstandings
Sometimes the support isn't there or the parents misunderstand the teen. So the stress increases until sometimes it explodes. And golly, do we notice!
As teens we bottle things up.
We can't tell anyone and we haven't been taught how to express what we're feeling so the stress builds.
Being a teen is sometimes tough. I really found it so challenging.
But there are things that we can do about teenage stress. And the following articles go into some details about the causes and some stress relief techniques for combating this: