As children grow into adults, it’s important to learn how to cope with adversity–it’s actually an essential skill to living a happy, healthy life. When something stressful happens, our body increases our body’s blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones. When this happens to an adolescent, it can either be a growing moment or something destructive–like chronic stress in teens.
Chronic stress in teens is usually triggered when the child in question didn’t have a proper support system surrounding them when the event happened and/or the stress response was long-lasting and intense. If a child that has experienced this level of trauma doesn’t receive treatment, it’s possible that the child could face lifelong consequences.
Research links chronic stress in teens to traumatic experiences
Many studies have linked traumatic experiences to chronic stress in teens. It’s incredibly hard to deny the evidence showing the impact of untreated trauma on teens–especially girls, according to research.
In a recent study, it was found that gender was one of the largest predictors of whether a trauma would lead to “dysfunctional cognitions.” Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth were more likely than boys to experience PTSD symptoms after a trauma.
Other research has also confirmed this. In a study from Stanford University School of Medicine, it was shown that traumatic stress had a different effect on girls’ brains vs boys’ brains. It was one of the first studies to look into why girls and assigned female at birth were more likely to develop PTSD compared to boys.
The answer seems to have to do with the part of the brain called the insula–more specifically, the part inside of it called the anterior circular sulcus. This part was larger in the traumatized boys’ brains compared to untraumatized boys; and it was smaller in the traumatized girls’ brains compared to untraumatized girls.
This part of the brain usually changes during the adolescent years, growing smaller as they grow older–which suggests that the aging of the insula is accelerated by PTSD or chronic stress in teens. This runs along with other studies that have shown correlation between early puberty and high levels of stress in girls.
By understanding the gender differences of trauma, it allows us–the ones giving treatment–to provide better treatment to those struggling with the effects of trauma.
If you believe your child is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.
Solstice is here for your daughter
Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic stress in teens, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.
Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.
For more information about how we help treat chronic stress in teens at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.