Sometimes adults do not remember exactly how it felt to experience certain things that you may now be worrying about or
reacting to. When people between 12
and 18 come visit my office, the first thing I might want them to let me know about is what is going on in the individual's life, because what you are going through can be either more confusing or be
experienced at a higher intensity than others older can understand or remember.
Rather than the thought that you are not cared about and loved by adults in your life, a lot just gets lost in translation!
Here are some ways that you might be experiencing stress and areas in which you might want to be better understood.
Your family members might be in some kind of conflict with you or with each other, such as, parents not getting along, your sister or brother going through changes that hurt or worry you,
feeling isolated when you are at home while others are arguing loudly, or feeling left out of things that you want to be included in.
Sometimes you might feel too embarrassed to tell a friend about it, or just don't know what is normal and where you draw the line between disagreements, arguing, and fighting.
You want to feel safe and welcome in your own home, yet you also want space and privacy and this can be hard for others around you to understand, either because of what they were
taught when they were young, or because they are trying to learn along with you about how you have changed from a child into an adolescent.
Relationships with Friends
This is where it can feel like you have extension of family, or in some lives, the family you have wished for in how it feels to be with them.
Your friends are so special to you that they can be number one on your list of priorities and sometimes others may have trouble
seeing that this is normal and healthy, as long as other areas of your life are not neglected too much.
You care about the friends you are close to and it means a great deal to you to feel a part of a group, as well as having very close
connections with certain individuals. It is so important to be around those you feel totally comfortable about being yourself with,
who are non-judgmental and support who you really are, which you are still finding out about!
If a friendship feels threatened or suddenly distanced, or you are getting mixed signals from someone you thought you knew and
trusted, this can be deeply bothersome. You might want to decide if and how to approach them instead of bottling it up inside
though, with someone who has had this happen or knows about it to a greater extent that you have known.
Having a crush or flirting might be fun, but that first hit of falling for someone hits hard!
You may think you have met your first love, or be involved with one person already, or be going
out with different people, or just hanging out at school with them.
Love and sexual feelings can be powerful and confusing, yet so exhilarating and calming to think about.
If one you are in love with is not returning that sentiment, or if your first one on one, more serious relationship comes to an end or something happens to create doubts, the plunge can
be just as intense as the first rush of warmth and excitement. It feels like your heart and soul and guts are all twisted in maize or emotions. You might find that slowing down before you
jump into a decision is useful.
You may be in a situation where you feel uneasy around the other person suddenly, or have
mistakenly done some things that may end up with you in trouble or may bring on physical or emotional harm in some way. If this
is the case, it must be dealt with immediately... remember there is someone who cares about you even when you often may not know it. Tell someone and get some help if you need it.
Any of the above possibilities about relationships can feed your soul, or fuel your anxiety to much greater degree than what you
might have felt earlier in your life, yet some of it is going to strengthen you and get you to know how to be in all of life, rather than only the basic stuff.
The deadlines, homework, level of expectations on you from others as well as yourself can be extremely stressful and at times be
reasons for sleeping problems, eating issues, substance abuse and self-harming behaviors. I have seen teens who are on their cell
up until 2 in the morning or later just to wind down and realize the day is over.
You may be bursting with learning yet not have time to do everything or bored and unchallenged. A lot of classes and tight
schedules put the pressure on, yet it can be a relief to get to the other side of the struggle with success in mind.
If there is someone at school that you are avoiding, it may feel like a nightmare to think about being there.
School is a place where there is a lot more going on than what a visitor may see on the surface. Avoiding it won't make it go away,
yet bouncing the description of the situation off of someone might bring you some ways to get through the day. Yet it can also be
a place to stretch out your creativity and amp your confidence in new skills of all kinds.
In any case, it is very important to keep from being hard on yourself to the point where major stress becomes your middle name.
Anxiety and Fears
Your anxiety may feel more intensified because it is something you now understand and can think about, although you also can think about other
things that create a myriad of emotions at the same time, or one after the other, like a wild ride! With all else that is listed in this article, you have a ton
of things happening inside of you in reaction, of course, to everything that is going on outside of yourself.
At times, it can seem like anxiety or even fear is there for no reason at all
that you can see. It can be hidden or related to something that was sudden and dramatic, that you may have found traumatic to some degree. Trauma affects you in your body or mind only so you can
really get that it is there for a reason.
When your fear or worry get to a point where you feel you are puzzled about how to handle it, or just want some support and
understanding...reach out to a wise friend, parent or professional counselor or therapist.
Again, somebody really does want to be there for you!
Shine on and find truth with yourself and others,Carol Jaron