At Children's Clinic, we provide confidence-inspiring care. We know it can be challenging to talk about how we feel, especially for teenagers, but our whole staff is here to help you in both of our locations.
Stress is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you're worried, scared, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. It is caused by emotions, but it also affects your mood and body. Life as a teen can be tough, and there are so many pressures teens face that it can be overwhelming.
Learning to handle stress in appropriate ways is part of learning how to be an adult. However, if stress is overwhelming, please talk to a trusted adult or make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Stress comes from many different places: your parents, your friends, yourself, watching parents argue, figuring out how to be independent, feeling pressure to get good grades, thinking about the future, being pressured to do something you know is bad for you, not feeling good enough at sports, worrying about how your body's changing, dealing with sexual feelings, worrying about the neighborhood or world problems, feeling guilty, among many others. With a list that long, no wonder you feel stressed!
Fortunately, there are also many ways to help you manage stress:
All of these ideas can lower stress without doing any harm. None are quick fixes, but they will lead you toward a healthy and successful life.
Ready to reduce your stress? Create a plan for yourself by following this guide. Just check off the ideas you think would work best for you, and then start doing them!
If you feel like hurting or killing yourself, get help now. Please talk to a trusted adult or go to the closest emergency room. There are also confidential hotlines for teens who have suicidal feelings. These hotlines are free, and the counselors are trained to give you resources and advice so that you can get further help.
You can call:
If you're concerned about suicide, tell your healthcare provider: "I've been thinking about hurting/killing myself. I need help." We won't judge you or think differently of you. In fact, we'll be relieved that you recognize you need help, and we're trained to help you feel better.
There are many things you can do to feel better and to solve the problems that lead to suicidal thoughts. The best thing you can do is get help from a trained therapist to help you figure out what is bothering you and help you cope with your problems. There are many kinds of therapy, and you may either go by yourself or with your family. For some teens, therapists might recommend medication to help them feel less sad or depressed.
There are other things you can do to help yourself feel better, including:
Using drugs or alcohol to try to make yourself feel better is NOT a good solution. There’s a higher risk of acting on suicidal thoughts when under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
It can be very frightening when a friend tells you that they are feeling very depressed or even suicidal. They might ask you not to tell anyone that they’re feeling this way, but the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t try to deal with a friend’s suicidal feelings by yourself. Talk to a trusted adult right away. Even if you think your friend might be angry with you for telling, your friend needs professional help.
Dealing with problems may feel overwhelming at times, but hurting yourself is never the answer. If you ever feel like you might harm yourself, tell someone right away or go to the closest emergency room."
Feelings of depression and anxiety are common in life, but these feelings can be especially difficult during the teen years. It is normal to have sad or anxious feelings for short periods. However, persistent sad, anxious, or helpless feelings need to be addressed quickly because they can be devastating, and help is available.
Please seek help if you have recurrent periods of sadness or crying, major changes in your appetite such as not eating or overeating, significant anger, being worried or nervous, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, thinking about death, or wanting to commit suicide. It is also important to seek help if you have consistent trouble sleeping, focusing at school or home, making a decision, are unable to enjoy things you usually enjoy, and do not want to spend time with friends.
Anxiety and depression are highly treatable! So don't keep feeling depressed and anxious when we can help. As with most problems, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. But it is never too late to ask for help.
First of all, we routinely screen all teenagers for depression during their well-patient visits using a nine-question survey called the PHQ-9. We also have a seven-question survey that will help us understand how serious your anxiety is called a GAD-7. Answer those screening tools honestly during your visit. We treat plenty of people for depression and anxiety, so your answers aren't going to shock us or make us think any differently of you. We're just here to help, and your honest answers help us know how to help you best.
During your visit, you should also tell your provider if you have or experience the following: recurring fears and worries about routine parts of everyday life, changes in behavior (such as irritability), avoiding activities, school, or social interactions, dropping grades or school avoidance, trouble sleeping or concentrating, substance use or other risky behaviors, chronic physical complaints, such as fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches. These are signs of anxiety.
You should also tell your provider if you have or experience the following signs of depression: not enjoying things that used to make you happy, a significant change in weight or eating (either up or down), sleeping too little at night or too much during the day, no longer wanting to be with family or friends, a lack of energy or feeling unable to do simple tasks, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, trouble focusing or making choices, not caring about what happens in the future, aches or pains when nothing is really wrong, or frequent thoughts of death or suicide.
To learn more about depression and anxiety, trusted resources include:
All information on this page was pulled from the following sites: