Your Child’s Treatment & Recovery Roadmap: A Guide to Navigating the Addiction Treatment System
What kind of addiction treatment is best for your child? What should you look out for? How will you pay for it? Use this guide to help you decide.
This post is written by Jennifer Dyl, PhD (Rhode Island Family Guide).
Seventeen-year-old Marissa is juggling many roles. She has a demanding part-time job, plays two varsity sports, is studying for the SAT’s and trying to decide where to go to college. She also has a term paper and an internet project due this week, needs to find a date and a dress for the prom, is worried that she has gained five pounds and is afraid that her best friend is mad at her. While Marissa used to feel confident and excited by life’s challenges, she has recently been feeling overwhelmed, out of control and “stressed out.” Marissa’s story is typical of the daily pressures teens face.
“Stress” is defined as the way our bodies and minds react to life changes. Since adolescence is a period of significant change, including physical, emotional, social, and academic changes, many teens are under more stress than at any other time of life.
Teenage Stress Factors
It is very important for teens to learn to handle stress, as long-term build-up of stress which is not handled effectively may lead to problems including physical illness, anxiety or depression, which call for professional help.
Teenage “Stress Overload” Signs
Our body’s natural reaction to life events we perceive as overwhelming entails the “fight or flight” response, which may produce a faster heart rate, increased blood flow, shallow breathing, a sense of dread, and a desire to escape. However, teens can teach themselves to perceive life challenges as within their control and can even change their body’s reactions to such events, promoting a lower heart rate, deeper breathing, clearer thinking, and feelings of calmness and control. There are many stress management skills that promote the relaxation response.
Stress Management Skills for Teens
To read more about how to help your teen cope with stress, visit the Rhode Island Family Guide.