Teenagers deal with many stresses and face a variety of responsibilities as they transition into adulthood. Whether pain is physical or emotional, it can affect all aspects of a teen’s life and even lead to addiction. This is why it is important for teenagers to learn to manage pain and stress in healthy ways.
Types of Pain in Teenagers
As they make their way through adolescence, teens may experience many forms of physical and emotional pain. A number of factors, including relationship problems, illnesses, and balancing work and school, are the main causes of the pain teens feel. Some teens may even find an overlap between their physical and emotional pain, with physical ailments causing them distress, and emotional problems causing them aches and discomfort.
Physical Symptoms of Pain
According to an article in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, almost 75 percent of teenagers have had headaches by the age of 15. Abdominal pains and back pains are the next most common physical ailments experienced by teens as reported by the British Medical Journal.
Chronic symptoms of pain related to those common ailments can result in the following:
- School absences that lead to missed school work
- Having to withdraw from sports or other extracurricular activities
- Losing sleep and having a lack of energy
- Increased emotional stress
Stress and Emotional Pain
Adolescence can be a very stressful time for teens as they try to find their identities while balancing home life, school and other obligations. One main source of stress for teens is trying to meet the many expectations placed on them by family, friends, teachers and even themselves. For the many teens who work part time, pressure at work adds to this stress. Balancing these expectations and trying to please many people can sometimes be an overwhelming challenge.
Teenagers also put high expectations on themselves when it comes to their relationships, physical appearance and social status. Fear of not meeting these expectations can lead to disappointment and insecurities, causing emotional pain. For teens who are unable to manage these expectations, mental health issues such as depression can occur.
Struggling With Pain
When teens cope with their pain in unhealthy ways, further problems can develop. Adolescents who struggle with emotional pain or suffer from physical illnesses and injuries may find themselves withdrawing from the people and activities they care about, and turning to an addictive habit instead.
Social Withdrawal Caused by Pain
When teens find it hard to cope with their physical or emotional pain, they may start to distance themselves from their families and fellow teens instead of talking to someone about their problems. For teens who need help dealing with their emotional or physical pain, confiding in friends and family is more helpful than facing those problems alone. They may also find it helpful to seek advice from qualified doctors and counselors.
Teen Painkiller Addiction
Teens who regularly experience physical pain may be prescribed pain relief medications to treat their symptoms. For some teens, an addiction to these pain medications can occur. Even teens without physical symptoms sometimes turn to these prescription drugs as a way of dealing with their emotional struggles. According to the New York Department of Health, 2,500 adolescents a day, ages 12 to 17, abuse a pain relief drug for the first time. In fact, many teens may not even know that they are addicted to a pain reliever. If you are unsure if you have an addiction to painkilling medication, or if you need help managing pain or addiction, call 1-888-388-5605 for help.