You Said It: "My Parents Do Not Understand My Stress"

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mother helping stressed daughter with homework

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“You Said It” is a periodic series based on real teens’ answers to the NIDA for Teens poll questions. Check out our current poll on the NIDA for Teens homepage.

You feel stressed out sometimes, right? That’s normal. Stress affects everybody at times, and you don’t have to handle it alone. So we were bummed—but not surprised—to see that nearly a third of those who answered our NIDA for Teens poll agreed with the statement, “My parents do not understand my stress.”

Talk about it

Why weren’t we surprised at that response? Because stress can increase negative emotions that cause a person to feel lonely or disconnected from others. In fact, research has found that stress in teens can be connected to depression. And depression can leave a person feeling isolated—even from people they know well.

While it can seem like parents don’t understand what you’re going through, it can help to talk about it with them or with another adult you trust. It’s good to remember that your parents were teens once and they had many of the same feelings. They may have hidden their feelings from their own parents.

Drugs and stress

Some people may think that drugs will help them deal with stress, but guess what? Drugs actually make it harder to cope with stress. And stress can make a person more impulsive and harm their ability to make decisions. Then they’re at increased risk for using drugs and for developing an addiction.

All those happy faces on social media can be misleading; even if they don’t talk about it, everyone deals with stress. And remember, when you’re stressing out, talking with someone you trust can make a big difference.

Learn more: What are some healthy ways to cope with stress?

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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