The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Infographic by Jenna Bondy

Adjusting to stress as teenagers

February 27, 2017

In high school, it seems almost impossible to live a balanced life while maintaining close to perfect grades, extracurriculars and your social life. As we get closer to leaving the doors of high school and comfort, we get more and more anxious with the growing difficulty of obstacles in life, which causes the inevitable feeling: stress. Although stress is a natural, physical and mental reaction to both good and bad experiences, the effects of stress on a teenager can be debilitating and toxic to the human body.

While it is no surprise that all people experience the uneasy feeling of stress, an alarming factor in a 2015 study conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that the stress levels jumped from 4.9 to 5.1 on a 10-point scale in just one year. The concerning aspect of the study shows that teenagers have extremely high stress levels, reflecting those of adults.

“Adults already have jobs and an established life while teens still have no clue what will happen in the future,” junior Alexa Rivas said. “I think maybe we as teens expect too much from ourselves and feel stress through school because that’s basically what will establish our future.”

According to the annual study coordinated by Stress in America from 2013, the stress level among teens is at an unhealthy rate and the culprit of the stress is school. Stress is something that teenagers have come to deal with daily, but the detrimental effects that come with the perturbed feeling of stress can play a major role in health and body issues such as headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, skin conditions such as cystic acne, anxiety and depression.

From a study done by the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, teenagers who lack sleep are four times more likely to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression.

In 2015, approximately three million adolescents ages 12 through 17 experienced a depressive episode and about two million of teenagers said they go through a depressive state daily, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. A study done by the American Psychological Association, compared male and female depression levels, showing that 37 percent of teenage girls reported to feeling depressed due to stress compared to 23 percent of teenage boys. Depression is the most common mental disorder among teenagers and has been on the rise in the United States. It can affect any teen regardless of gender, ethnicity, income or social background.

For teenagers in highschool, it seems almost impossible to live a well-balanced life trying to manage school and your personal life, but as we leave the doors of high school, we will begin to realize that the intense stress that comes along with it will be gone in just four years. Stress is always going to linger with us, good or bad, but we have the rest of our lives to figure out how to manage our stress that comes with being an adult; enjoy high school while it lasts.

“I think it’s really easy to let the stress of tests, homework, projects, and applications consume us, but we need to remember that these are our last years to be around the friendly faces we’ve grown up with,” senior Gabriela Velasco said. “We should make the best out of the few months we have left and enjoy the rest of our yeara.”

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