Sunday, August 25, 2013

Teen Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Here’s an interesting Q & A with some Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills high school students, and how they deal with stress, anxiety and pressure…..

Q.  How do you handle stress and anxiety when you start to feel overwhelmed with life?

A.  I take a minute and step away from everything.  If I’m stressed with school, I take a break from studying and plan out a schedule to keep me on track.  Writing it out – things I need to get done and putting it with a time schedule, really helps.    Organizing my life in this way helps me to stay in control and not feel so overwhelmed.    Also, I vent with my friends and get everything off my chest – to people who care about me – really helps.

A.  With life pressure, it’s harder to get away.  So I take time and think about it and write about it.  Writing is an outlet for whatever is on my mind.  You can always look back and read it and find a lot of answers in your own words.

A.  When the pressure of life is really pounding on me, I typically stop what I’m doing, take a deep breath, drink a glass of water and go for a walk to clear my mind.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is give your mind a rest.  If you’re still stressed, then I recommend that you have some tea, put on your pajamas and go to bed early.  It’s hard to think with a clear head when you’re running low on energy.

Q.  Have you ever felt depressed?  Who did you talk to and how did you handle it?

A.  Absolutely.  I think everyone hits a breaking point at least once in their life.  It’s hard to get out because you feel like you’re good for nothing.  Surprisingly, the best help I had didn’t come from any friends, it came from my parents.  They helped me focus on things that brought my energy level up and took my stress away.

A.  When I get sad, I let people close to me know... and they are all I need sometimes.

Q.  What would you tell a teen who is depressed and feeling the pressure of life, and is either using, or considering using drugs or alcohol as a way to cope?

A.  I would say that as much as it might seem to be helping…. drinking and drug use are actually going to hurt your more.  Alcohol is a depressant, many drugs are.  You need to find a lasting release from stress and depression and face the problems instead of seeing a temporary escape with drugs and alcohol.

A.  I would tell them the facts.  Drug and alcohol use is counter-productive and can actually lead to depression.   I would also hare my way of coping – focusing on self-improvement, start exercising more, be productive and look for  ways to make another person’s day better.

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