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Teens under extreme stress

Teens are "extremely" stressed

RIGBY, Idaho - More than a quarter of teens say they are extremely stressed, and psychologists say that number will increase this year, according to the latest survey from the American Psychological Association.

School, family, friends and work are the common stressors for teens, but teens aren't always using the healthiest coping skills which can lead to more chronic health problems later in life.

"I've been struggling for four years now, and I'm a senior but somehow I get it together," said Alyssa Miller, a Rigby High School senior.

Miller and Natalie Lusk said high school is very stressful. Classes, clubs and extra curricular activities add to their stress level and so does being a senior.

"I'm like applying for colleges, trying to find a job for summer, there's a lot of stuff going on," said Miller.

Managing stress for teenagers can be tough.

"Yeah I'm definitely a procrastinator," said Lusk

The American Psychological Association said teen girls are more stressed than teen boys, and nearly half of teens say they feel angry or irritable.

Lusk said her family picks up on her stress level.

"I think they realize that yeah I'm tried, I'm exhausted and stuff, probably more irritable," said Lusk.

As for coping with stress, the girls said they're not really taught how to deal with it.

Miller and Lusk said they'll notice their friends get really stressed, they'll sleep a lot, eat unhealthy and most teens use social media to distract themselves from every day stress.

"Social media, that's huge, like when I know I need something like done for some reason I get on my phone, I call someone up 'like hey let's hang out' and I know I can't do that but that's how I cope with it," said Miller.

Psychologists suggests managing stress by managing schedules and allowing plenty of time between activities. Cramming activities too close together adds to stress. They also suggest exercising, which is one of the leading ways to cope with stress. The third suggestion is to take time out by turning off electronic devices and relaxing, even for just ten minutes a day.

Not learning how to manage stress can increase the risk of depression when teens become adults.

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