The New Dealer

  • March 23March / April Edition

Stress In Teenage Life

Shifa Maqsood, Reporter

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Teenage is a period of a complex emotions in a person’s life. Teenage stress is usually characterized by love dynamics and social pressures, along with academic problems. Although teenage life has always been a stressful time for people, in the era of technological advancement, it has become more difficult to deal with. Teens struggle to keep up with the current pop culture, which is more of a stress factor for teenage girls, as distorted body images prevail among teen girls. Higher levels of stress can have severe effects on mood, health, and social interactions. But, many of these problems go unnoticed, and later on create problems in life, or have more hazard consequences such as suicide. However, if therapy is available, some of the stress related problems might be alleviated.

Stress is an event that triggers a fight or flight reaction to the circumstances around a person, threatening harm to them. Although we have evolved and do not have to experience as many physical dangers as our ancestors, our body still exhibits the same reaction of flight or fight. If we sense a problem coming our way, our instincts are the same. Only that now it might not be a bear, triggering the fight or flight.

The leading trigger cause of stress has been reported to be schoolwork, with many students feeling overwhelmed about exams, overloaded homework, or failure to score high on exams. As mentioned earlier, teenage is a complex period of life when a rise in hormones is responsible for stress caused by romantic problems among both girls and boys. Given the fragile state of teenagers’ minds, romantic relationships involving heartbreaks, unrequited love, and peer pressure can give rise to increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisols and endorphins. Social problems such as peer pressures, exposure to pop culture, cognizance of class divides among teens can also be one of the causes of stress. More importantly, girls have distorted perceptions of beauty in the age of Kardashians and popular social media influences.

Stress comes with serious impacts on a person’s mental health. Depression is the leading mental illnesses among teenagers, with 20% teenagers developing depression before adulthood. Depression might make a teen more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. Chronic stress can also lead to bipolar personality disorders and severe anxiety. Such stress related factors can have staggering effect on teens’ academic and social life, and cause problems later in life. However, teenage stress can be managed if parents try to reach out to their children, and schools can get more involved by establishing counselling clubs for students. Teenagers can always try to make more friends and reach out to therapists and guidance counselors. Teens can try to engage in physical exercises and eat healthy food. It’s important to watch out for stress triggers early on in teenage years, in order to curb the dangerous effects of stress.

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