Stress is a natural part of life. Expressions such as, “I’m stressed out”, and, “I’m under too much stress” are familiar. Stress is often accompanied by the feeling of being overwhelmed or “out of control”.

Stress can be both positive and negative. Good stress is like fuel in a car, but flood the engine and the car STOPS. Flood the body with stress and the body STOPS. Too much stress becomes distress. Positive stress is a healthy kind of stress because it motivates us, keeps us alert and safe in our daily life, and gives us positive feelings of fulfilment, energy and enthusiasm.

Prolonged stress can be harmful and can impact on both physical and mental health. When a person is constantly reacting to stressful situations without managing it, it can threaten their health and sense of well-being. This can result in physical, emotional and behavioural difficulties which impact your health, vitality peace of mind as well as personal and other relationships.

Typical Stresses in Adolescents:
  • Biological and physical changes
  • Moving from dependency on parents/guardians or carers to independence
  • Subject, college and career choices
  • Developing personal identity and forming new relationships

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information in this section is not intended as a substitute for clinical diagnosis or to replace the advice of a medical professional. If concerned, please contact your family doctor or phone the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit

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