According to a 2009 national survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, parents tend to think that their children are a lot less stressed than they actually are.
The survey reported that:
- The children were more likely to report that they were worried about the family's finances (30%) than the parents were to recognize that they felt this way (18%)
- The children were also more likely to report stress associated with school performance (44%) than what their parents believed (34%)
Similar results were reported regarding their physical symptoms of stress:
- Tweens and teens (30% and 42% respectively) reported having headaches, while only 13% of parents reported that their children had them
- Tweens and teens (39% and 49%) reported having sleep problems, while only 13% of parents reported this symptom in their children
- Tweens and teens (27% and 39%) reported they had changes in appetite, while only 8% of parents reported this symptom in their children
Given that stress can have long-term serious consequences, including depression, it is very important for parents to learn to recognize the signs of stress in their children and to help them learn how to manage that stress.
Some of the signs that your child might be feeling stressed include:
- Problems with concentration and decision-making
- Worrying and anxiety
- Negative attitude
- Physical complaints, such as headaches and stomach upset
- Changes in appetite and sleep
- Drug and alcohol use
If you aren't sure about how to teach your child to cope with stress, About.com's Stress Management site is a great place to start. Elizabeth Scott covers everything you could possibly need to know, both for yourself and your child.
Do you think you may be depressed? Although a screening test cannot be used to diagnosed you with clinical depression, it can help you learn whether you have depression symptoms and should seek further evaluation from a doctor. Our screening tests are free, simple to use and can be taken right now in the privacy of your own home.
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While we usually think of SAD as occurring during the winter months, this forum member has a different perspective:
Does anyone here have spring/summer SAD? I was dx'd with this about 3-4 years ago and it really sucks. I know it's kinda rare and people usually have it in the winter, but I get it in the summer. It's not fair that most people get to go out and enjoy the sunshine and nice weather and do all kinds of outdoor activities, while I feel more depressed on nice sunny days. What's worse is that we don't have a very long season here in WI of nice, warm days that are enjoyable. I do go out with people on nice days and do things if they ask, but it's mostly fake acting happy and having fun. I do try to force myself to go out and walk for exercise instead of sitting home and getting more and more depressed. The anti-depressants I'm on don't help and my psych knows I have this disorder, so he doesn't really try to help. There's not much more he can do. I tend to like the rainy days, where I can just sit and watch the rain, or stormy days where I just listen to the thunder and watch for lightning. Those are the days I feel better and will sometimes even go out for walks in the rain. Life just isn't fair. --Janey38
Can you relate to Janey38's dilemma? Share your experiences in the comments.
Jessica1307 posted the following question to our forum:
I have been on Zoloft 50 mg for 3 years and it has been a miracle drug -really cut down on obsessive thoughts and chronic unhappiness.
My major side effect is frequent, severe night sweats. I get them several nights a week. I know this is a common side effect for some people. I'm wondering if anyone has a good solution besides going off the Zoloft.
BTW, I am healthy, not overweight, don't drink caffeine, don't drink alcohol before bed and my bedding is not excessive.
Thank you for any help - even commiseration - you offer.
Do you have an advice to give Jessica1307? Share your experiences below.