Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine: Stress (Video Transcript)
Pediatrician Paula Cody, MD, of American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, says stress is starting earlier and earlier for contemporary teens.
Watch Dr. Cody's video, or read the transcript below:
The early teen years are actually where the body's changing and the cognitive and emotional processes are changing quite a bit. The kids are seeing high school demands at earlier ages. And they're bringing home these book bags of 20 pound books and 8 hours of homework every night.
So it's -- the stress is starting earlier and earlier. And, like healthy relationships, you have to model good stress behavior. And what stresses out a teen may not be the same thing that stresses out a parent.
A parent may look in on this and say, this is such a small thing, why are you stressed out about it?
Signs that a teen is overwhelmed include, the increased complaints of headaches and stomach aches. And muscle pain. Increased irritability and lashing out. Increased -- or changes in sleep and eating behaviors.
The best way to help them is just to listen. Again, you may not be able to relate what they're going through, but they need someone to talk to. And if you feel that their stress is having a negative impact on their physical or emotional health, you need to bring them to a physician.