Stressed-Out Teens

December 3rd, 2008

Just like adults, stress can have very negative impacts on an adolescent’s mental and emotional health.  Anxiousness, withdrawal, agitation, depression, and the behaviors teens turn to to cope with these feelings are all possible responses.  Teens who aren’t successfully coping can turn to drugs, unsafe sex, anger, and other dangerous behaviors.  When faced with such situations, parents often times feel fearful, irritated, and hopeless. 

What kinds of stress do teens experience?  For some, it’s unbelievable pressure to succeed in school and extracurricular activities.  Others live in poor and violent neighborhoods.  Some live with warring parents or parents dealing with chronic illness.  Many adolescents cope with daily discrimination, including racial and ethnic minorities, children of immigrants, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & questioning teens.  

Parents can make some stressors go away.  In other cases, teens need to learn positive coping skills.  Problem solving, expressing emotions, acceptance and distraction are some techniques that have proved useful to teens.  But they aren’t always easy to learn.  Sometimes parents need the help of a guidance counselor, trusted friend, or therapist.

If you’re concerned about the impact of stress on your child’s life, I can help.  I wont judge you or your parenting.  I will help you find solutions.  Call me at 202/460-6384 to discuss your concerns.

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