8 Signs That Your Teen May Be Stressed Out

Stress is a normal part of the teenage years.  During this time, teens struggle to cope with their hormonal changes while learning to develop and maintain new relationships with other teens.  Teens also typically strive for more independence from their families which often creates stress both for the teenagers and their families.  Additional stressors include school, work, self-esteem, peer pressure, and temptations around alcohol or drugs.  While most teenagers manage the teenage years successfully, some teenagers become stressed out, depressed, anxious, or begin to abuse alcohol or drugs. 

Listed below are 8 signs that your teenager may be stressed out and may need help.

  1. Sleep Disturbance – Many people lose sleep when they are worried.  When teens are stressed, they may have trouble sleeping or may begin to sleep excessively without ever feeling rested.
  2. Increase in Negative Self-Statements – Teens that are stressed out often begin to express negative self-talk.  Some of the common statements include:
  • “I can’t do it.”
  • “I’m not as good as everyone else.”
  • “I don’t see the point in trying.”
  • “I’m ugly.”
  • “I hate myself.”
  • “I hate my life.”
  • “I hate school.”
  • “I’ll never be good enough.”
  • “I wish I were dead.’
  1. Anger Outbursts – Teenagers often express their frustrations and stress through anger.  If you find that your teenager gets angry easily and takes their anger out on those around them, then they may be feeling stressed out.
  2. Isolation – If your teenager begins to isolate and avoid interacting with friends or family, then they may be feeling stressed.  Isolation and social withdrawal can also be signs of depression and anxiety.
  3. Substance Abuse – Most teenagers do not use alcohol or drugs to cope with the stress in their life.  If you begin to see signs of substance abuse, don’t ignore it. 
  4. Drop in Grades – A change in school performance is often one of the early signs that a teenager is struggling.  If you see a drop in grades, it could be an early indicator that your teen is feeling overwhelmed or may be in emotional crisis.
  5. Loss in Interest in Activities – Teens that get overwhelmed by stress may begin to lose interest in activities that they have historically enjoyed.  If they are overscheduled and overcommitted, then a decrease in commitments may be appropriate.  It is better to let go of some activities than to try to “do it all” and burnout in the process.
  6. Depression and Anxiety – Teens that become overwhelmed with stress can become depressed or begin to have severe anxiety and panic attacks.  If you begin to see signs of depression or anxiety, get your teen help.

Helping Teens Cope with Stress

Some of the ways that you can help your teen cope with stress include:
  • Listen to Your Teen – Take the time to understand what your teen is going through.  The more that you know what they need, the easier it is to teach them the skills that need to overcome their stressors.
  • Help Them Manage Their Expectations – Teach your teen to how to manage their expectations.  No one can do everything, and things don’t always go our way.  The better we are at managing our expectations, the less frustration and disappointment we tend to experience.
  • Encourage Instead of Criticize – Teens are going to make mistakes.  Rather than criticize them, help them learn from their mistakes.
  • Teach Resiliency – Teach your teens how to overcome challenges and bounce back from defeats and disappointments. 

New Dimensions Can Help!

If you have a teenager that is overwhelmed with stress and struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse issues, New Dimensions can help.  New Dimensions offers Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs for Adolescents and Adults.  We have locations in Houston, Katy, and The Woodlands, Texas.  We also have Online Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs that are open to individuals who reside anywhere in Texas, including Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Lubbock, College Station, Beaumont, Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Tyler, and El Paso.  To learn more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.

03 December, 2020

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