Stress and its Negative Effects

February 28, 2012
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“Mom can you pick me up?” I choked.

“What's wrong?”

“I just want to come home.”

“Ok I'll be there in a little while.” I heard her hang up and I let out a sigh of relief. It's my second month of being a freshman in high school and I've had enough. Since August 25th, the first day of school, I've lived in the same routine, wake up at 6, be at school from 7:40 to 2:05, then wait around after school for soccer practice at 4, be home at 6, and then finally do homework until about 9:30. I'm over worked and tired and I just need a brake.

A little while later my mom came to pick me up and I quickly got in the car. My tears poured out of my eyes like water rushing down a waterfall and I couldn't stop it.

“What's wrong?” My mom asked.

“I just wanna go home!” I sobbed. “I just NEED to go home!” After a while I stopped weeping and the rest of the car ride was silent except for the radio which played my favorite songs. Unfortunately I was thinking too much to notice. When is my English paper due? Oh no my biology lab report is due tomorrow and I have a test on Thursday! What am I going to do?!

Teenagers these days are very stressed and with school, sports, and peer pressure they become overwhelmed. What exactly is stress? Stress is a feeling that's created when we react to particular events. These events are called stressors and they are both negative and positive. For instance getting a new puppy may be a form of positive stress whereas failing a test can be a form of a negative stressor. If these stressors aren’t coped with correctly its effects can be both mentally and physically dangerous. Some physical dangers are headaches, chest pains, and difficulty breathing. Some mental dangers of stress are mood swings, night mares, and even worse depression.

For me, I needed to learn how to manage my time wisely. This meant doing homework and projects anywhere, including in the car or whenever I had a second of free time. Many people told me that high school was different from junior high, but I honestly didn't believe them. I went from being a carefree person in 8th grade who had all the time in the world to an exhausted, worn out, and stressed 15 year old girl. Even in my free time I couldn't relax because of project or paper due dates hanging over my head.

Because of stress and other outside influences teens become so overwhelmed they feel their only way out is to take their own lives. Suicide is becoming more eminent in our society today. It is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center took a survey and found that 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, and 1 in 6 teens had made plans for suicide. But perhaps the most shocking is that more than 1 in 12 teenagers had attempted suicide in the last year.

Stress is all around us and unless skills used to cope with the stress are acquired the affects can be damaging to our entire society in the log run. I have found that having a support system helps. My friends and family are the reason I have a smile on my face everyday. When life in general becomes stressful I take the time to think about the positives in my life. When life gets you down don’t be afraid to look it in the face and say your not afraid, pick yourself up and dust yourself off!

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