Treating Teen Stress, Anxiety, and PTSD – Part Two

The first article in this series provided the results of a recent study on teen stress, published in a USA Today article. This is the second and last part to this series and will discuss forms of treatment for psychological disorders that result from stress.

Sadly, according to the USA Today article, the prognosis for lowering the levels of teen stress doesn’t look good. Those who are stressed are not taking good care of themselves, such as neglecting to exercise, skipping meals, forgetting responsibilities at home, and snapping at friends and family members. However, if teens can find the treatment they need, perhaps their levels of physical and psychological health will improve.

Treating stress depends on its severity and cause. For instance, if stress and anxiety is the result of a trauma, then you will likely need to see a mental health professional. Post-traumatic stress disorder might be the appropriate diagnosis, with psychotherapy and medication as forms of treatment. It’s important to know that PTSD that goes untreated can lead to significant emotional, psychological, and even physical danger. If you are experiencing anxiety, you might be diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, or another mood disorder related to anxiety. Again, medication and therapy might be appropriate forms of treatment.

Lastly, if your teen stress is the result of every day life, there are a variety of ways to cope. For instance, you can remove yourself from the stress. If you’re feeling anxious because you need to prepare for an exam and there is too much going on at home one evening, perhaps the best option is to study at the library. You can change the way you feel about the stress. Maybe you’re feeling frustrated because you haven’t found that date for the party this weekend. You can laugh about it with your friends. Using humor can lighten up any situation, and laughter boosts the immune system.

If it’s appropriate, you can ignore the stress. For example, if you have a health concern, which you are adequately and properly taking care of, focusing on it might only bring more anxiety. Instead, putting your attention on your studies, your family, or your class activities could be more useful.

Of course, exercise, meditation, yoga, and having a belief in a higher power can provide great comfort when stress clouds your vision and blankets the canvas of life. Also, keep in mind that there are a host of other tricks and techniques for managing stress. Stay tuned for a future article that will provide a long list of specific stress relieving tools. For now, remember to breathe when the going gets tough. Breathing consciously can bring relaxation to the body, heart, and mind.

We all experience stress differently, and the ways we manage stress will also vary from person to person. There are a variety of ways you can respond to stress when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, confused, or tired. The choice is yours. However, if the level of your teen stress is significant and you experience psychological symptoms, see a mental health professional for your psychological well being.

 

 

Reference:

Jayson, S. (February 11, 2014). Teens feeling stressed, and many not managing it well. USA Today. Retrieved on June 9, 2014 from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/11/stress-teens-psychological/5266739/

 

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