‘I think the reason why being a teenager is so hard is because we are trying to stay kids but trying to be adults all at the same time’
It used to be just us adults that would complain and suffer from the result of stress, but nowadays we are seeing a rise in our teenagers too. Every year there is more evidence of the terminal effects of stress and depression on our young people. Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression, one in five people become depressed at some point in their lives. Anxiety problems affect some 300,000 children and adolescents in the UK and suicide rates are increasing with more teens are crying out for help.
While some level of stress can help teens take action or feel motivated, high or poorly managed levels of stress can create potentially serious problems, such as anxiety, withdrawal, aggression or chronic worry
There are a variety of situations that our young people are facing which is contributing to their stress.
- School – Surveys show that school is one of the most common stresses among teenagers. There is the pressure on kids to study hard not just from school but from families as well. Stress can also be triggered by being pressured to not only maintain grades but to continually reach the expectations of the teachers and the school. Before an exam, emotional anxiety can increase over this period.
- Family – Family problems can also cause emotional problems for teens. Problems occurring within the family can really take a toll on everyone. Problems such as parents separating or divorcing, death or illness in the family, parents who argue, emotional or physical abuse and fighting with siblings can contribute to increased stress levels.
- Social life – There are a raft of emotional problems that teenagers can suffer within their social life. Lack of friends, loneliness and peer pressure are just some of the things that teenagers have a hard time dealing with. Teens may also feel stress because they feel increased social pressure to engage in early sexual behaviors, experiment with smoking, drugs or alcohol, or to participate in other activities they might feel compelled to do because they want to be accepted into a particular peer group.
There are many treatments and therapies available to help young people deal with these stresses, one of them is massage therapy. Massage can work in conjunction with other therapies such as counselling or as a stand-alone treatment. The benefits of massage have been widely written about they include relieving stress, inducing relaxation, strengthening the immune system, promoting deeper and easier breathing plus many more benefits we feel on an individual level.
Studies show that premature babies who receive touch, who are cuddled, held and rocked thrive more than those who are not. For our elderly population they can benefit from massage too as this can help to reduce joint pain, oedema, stress, and blood pressure.
So what about our teens?, How can they benefit?
A therapeutic massage treatment can give young people a calm, quiet and safe environment in which to not only let go of the stress and pressure they are feeling, but to feel re-balanced, relaxed and rejuvenated. Regular massages can help relieve any symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress and it improves the overall well-being of the person. Having regular massages also offers the chance to build up a trusted relationship with the therapist and a good opportunity to open the lines of communication.