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Fears for children who are stressed by school and their futures

By PA Reporter

Published 11/09/2015

Children as young as 12 are being struck down with illnesses because they are so stressed regarding decisions about their futures, according to a study.

Stress-related illnesses have been spotted in teenagers facing a range of important decisions such as A-level choices, whether to go to university and which career path to choose, according to a study of 1,000 teenagers by the National Citizen Service (NCS).

Some 88% of 12 to 18-year-olds said they had felt stressed in the past 12 months and two-thirds said they reacted with tell-tale symptoms in insomnia, eating disorders, depression and by lashing out at friends and relatives.

Studying and doing well at school triggered stress in 81% of teenagers, while making decisions about their future unsettled 35%.

Arguing with friends was stressful for 30%, while family disputes upset 29% and finding a boyfriend or girlfriend was named by 20% for their stress levels.

Trying to looking good on social media was blamed by 15% as a stress trigger, while 14% did not want to disappoint their parents and 13% were being affected by their efforts to be popular at school. Avoiding bullying was stressful for 12% of youngsters.

Even at this young age, 11% of teenagers said they were worried about money troubles.

Biting their nails more than usual was a give away that they were suffering from stress, according to 28%, while 21% said it was by their shutting themselves off from family or friends.

Lucie Russell, campaigns director at YoungMinds mental health charity, said: "We need to ensure young people are equipped with the skills to deal with these pressures and to navigate positive paths into adulthood."

Belfast Telegraph

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