According to a report by the Surgeon General, stress and hypertension are the leading causes of death in adults in the United States. For many adults, the stressors that become lethal later in life often begin when they are teenagers or young adults.
It is important to know how to recognize when your teenager or young adult is under duress and what you can do about it.
Even if the home life of the teenager or young adult is normal and relatively stress-free, there could be external influences that are causing stress in your child’s life.
What do the symptoms of teenagers and stress look like? How do they manifest from day-to-day in your teenager or young adult’s life? Here are some key symptoms to look out for when trying to determine if your teenager or young adult is experiencing difficulty, in or outside the home.
Teenagers and Stress: The Warning Signs
- Eating and Sleeping Problems
- Fear of Being Alone
- Regressing to Infant Behaviors
- Trembling with Fright
- Uncontrollable Crying
- Low Self-Esteem
Left unattended, stress can often amplify itself in the body creating a snowball effect that over a lifetime can lead to physical ailments such as chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, panic disorders, hypertension and many other life-threatening conditions.
Early detection and treatment is possible and proper treatment affords an individual in pain to experience a normal and fulfilling life.
The first step is to speak to your teenager or young adult and let them know that what they are experiencing is not their fault and to acknowledge the stress symptoms that are manifesting in their lives and behavior.
Teenagers and stress and young adults and stress are in a space where they often blame themselves for discord in the household or external stimuli that are creating stress in their lives. Getting them to recognize the source and symptoms of their stress is an important first step on the path to healing and recovery.
So what practical steps can one take to identify the stressors that your teenager or young adult is experiencing? There are different classifications for stress, so let’s begin by identifying what type of stress is manifesting in your teenager or young adult’s life.
Types of Stress in Teenagers and Young Adults
- Acute stress
More commonly known as the fight-or-flight response, this is the body’s initial reaction to stressful stimuli, such as getting pulled over by the authorities or having to speak to a large audience for the first time. These experiences usually only last for brief periods and generally do not cause any problems if only experienced under normal circumstances. However, continued and untreated severe acute stress can cause mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Continued exposure can lead to more long-term conditions such as coronary disease and tension headaches.
- Chronic stress
While acute stress can have some benefits such as inciting action to escape danger, chronic stress occurs when stressors accumulate over long periods of time, beginning in childhood. If not addressed and treated, common symptoms of chronic stress include migraine headaches and insomnia.
In order to properly manage stress, individuals and parents of teenagers and young adults need to identify and treat both acute and chronic stress to prevent long-term health hazards associated with unmanaged stressors.
At Pacific Quest, we believe in helping young people make better choices and live healthier, more productive lives. Our innovative programs give teenagers and young adults access to their respective feelings and utilize wilderness therapy to facilitate a neurodevelopmental approach to treatment that challenges the status quo in the field of behavioral health.
Evidence-based therapeutic methods utilizing horticultural therapy and whole-person wellness allow the individual to become a sustaining member of a healthy community and become a conduit of change not just in the community but themselves as well.
Pacific Quest gives the individual access to cutting-edge, progressive outdoor therapy that not only puts them in touch with nature and how the very natural world itself sustains itself and us, but it puts them in touch with themselves by becoming a part of the natural process of planting, cultivation, care and growth.
Through the client-centered treatment model at Pacific Quest, students learn to identify and face the stressors in their life head-on. Our hearts and minds are a garden; Pacific Quest can teach your teenager or young adult how to nurture and cultivate that garden and watch it blossom into a healthy and burgeoning sanctuary of color and vibrancy.