The transition from childhood to adulthood is big of a change. This means increased responsibilities and taking decisions, which can be an empowering but at the same time, a stressful experience. “one in every four to five youth in the general population meet criteria for a lifetime mental disorder that is associated with severe role impairment and/or distress (11.2 percent with mood disorders, 8.3 percent with anxiety disorders, and 9.6 percent behavior disorders)” (Merikangas, 2010) . Several factors contribute to stress among teenagers. It is part of human nature that a person needs assurance from people around him, he wants to be accepted as an essential part of society; this might exert pressure among teenagers. This pressure might be from parents, even though they have a good intention as they want to see their children perform exceptionally well in every aspect of life, but at a point when parents don’t distinguish between encouraging their children and criticizing them, that’s when children began to develop complexes. Apart from parental pressure teens might be subjected to peer pressure, peers might exert positive or negative pressure on teens. “The research literature on different socializing of boys and girls documents the greater dependency of teenage girls on their friends for self-image and self-esteem and strongly suggests that the tensions. Conflicts and rejections that characterize girls’ friendships during these years are stressful in and of themselves and delay and undermine the development of positive coping related beliefs about one ‘self, such as a sense of mastery and stable self-image.” (Colten, 1991, p. 10). Apart from this teens might also experience academic pressures, to perform exceptionally well in studies or they might be judged by their peers, might not get into a good university or their parents might scold them. The increased use of technology is also a leading cause of teen stress. Social media platforms pose pressure on youngsters; the monopoly of likes, shares, and comment are on the rise. To be “popular” and “cool” is the new trend and those not following this trend are not seen as acceptable citizens, with this comes insecurities, jealousy, and depression among youngsters. Media portrays the stereotypic image of a young girl and boy, the image has a widespread impact on the masses, and teens are seen trying to conform to the typical image, which is also leading to diseases such as anorexia. Teenagers often face a scrambled sense of direction; this may be a leading cause of identity crises. It is an age of making important decisions regarding their life and the uncertainty of the outcomes of these decisions is what is stressful.
What do individuals go through in this phase and the difficulties they come across, about Pakistan and its teenagers?
Teens who experience stress display certain symptoms that include; Deterioration of physical health, they seem tired experiencing frequent headaches, stomachaches, pain, and low energy levels. Chronic stress, that is experiencing stress for a long period of time might eventually result in disorders and diseases. “Chronic stress and its associated symptoms eventually lead to a depletion of the body’s energy. The degree to which this occurs has been associated with a stage of exhaustion that carries with it increased susceptibility to negative health outcomes, such as a heightened risk for cardiovascular morbidity, diabetes, immunosuppression, and affective disorders” (Sapolsky, 2004). Teens often experience insomnia, lack of sleep when they are stressed out. Declining grades and attendance is also an indication that a teen is stressed, this may be due to not being able to focus on studies with all the thoughts prevailing in his mind. A change in the social habits of the teen might be noticed, increased social isolation. Spending time alone and avoiding the gathering of friends and family might be monitored. Stress inculcates more negative thoughts in youngsters; they tend to focus on the negative side of things avoiding any positivity, sometimes due to “self-fulfilling prophecy” their negativity results in negative outcomes. They worry more than usual and talk negatively.
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