National Youth Day
12th January 2023
Best wishes on
Swami Vivekanand Jayanti
“विकवित युिा; विकवित भारत”
Youth (15-29 years) comprise 27 % of
Let us rededicate ourselves compassionately towards their
Emotional & Mental Health.
Stress Management in Youth
Dr. Deepak Rathod
Senior Psychiatrist & Management Trainer
Stress is the general term applied to the pressure people feel in life. No one is immune to stress. Today’s youth are facing lot of stress due to fast pace of technology change, increasing competition at all levels and drastically changed family-social structure. Transition from childhood to adolescence and from adolescence to young adulthood involves many physical, psychological and socio-economic changes, which make youth prone to stress. When it is too severe or long- lasting, it can negatively affect both the youth and the people around him or her. There are many individual variations, a challenging and rewarding task for one
person, may be flooded with stress and
anxiety for others. When pressure begins to build-up, it can cause adverse strain on one’s emotion, thought processes and physical condition.
When stress becomes excessive, they may develop various symptoms, that can harm their social and family life, education, career, self-development and health. They may become nervous and depressed. Under stress they can be easily provoked to anger and are unable to relax. They may start ruminating about past or may resort to excessive day- dreaming. Few of them become uncooperative and obstinate and may begin alcohol or drug abuse. Few youths may terminate their education prematurely, get involved in antisocial activities, drive rashly and totally reject authority figures. Young people under stress may resort to excessive eating, eating too little or involve themselves in close relationship with a person of
opposite sex without due rational thinking. They are likely to become possessive about or dependant on their friends.
Stress can lead to body-related complaints like stomach-upsets, breathlessness, palpitation, sweating, weakness, giddiness, headache and joint- pains. If it continues for longer time it may lead to expression of various psycho- immunological illnesses and early start of diseases like high-BP, diabetes & heart- disease. It is very important that stress, both on the job and at home be kept at an optimal level, a level tolerable by most people around us.
Stress can be temporary or long-term, depending on, how long it continues. It can be mild or severe, depending on how powerful the causative factors are and how strong the person’s recovery powers are. Faster pace of the modern world,
results in lot of hassles in day-to-day life. This has increased tension and stress.
When people struggle but perpetually fail against a difficult life situation, it is called as “burn-out”. Examples are repeated failures in entrance exams, professional education, job-selection, business ventures etc. Other examples are ill- health of aging parents and permanent loss of parent’s income. Stressed youth in such situation, tend to become highly irritable and start blaming others. They may resign from responsibilities and become hopeless and depressed. Another form of severe stress called “trauma” may follow an acute crisis in the life of a person, say death of a parent, divorce, loss of job or death of a close friend. This may result in disturbed sleep, mood changes, inability to concentrate, sex-problems, absenteeism and accident proneness.
Before we go to stress management, we will briefly outline why it occurs. The condition which results in stress is called as “stressor”. It may be a job stressor or a psycho-social stressor. Usually, many smaller and relatively insignificant stressors combine to produce a remarkable stress provoking situation. Prominent psycho-social stressors for young people are disturbed adjustment with parents & in-laws, ill-health of parents, unemployment or job- insecurity, low-salaries, seeing dreams getting crushed, home-sickness & loneliness.
The next cause of stress is frustration. It results when motivation (drive) is blocked to prevent one from reaching a desired goal. In such situation people start using different psychological defences to minimize the harmful effect of failure. Few defences result in successful overcoming of the stress but
others result in leakage of frustration which is felt as chronic stress. Defences like projection (A girl attracted to a boy next-door may allege that he is interested in her) result in major adjustment problems and may suggest onset of major mental illness. Defences like displacement (Kicking the door), denial (Everything is alright), rationalization (There is economic slow-down), independence (I will do it myself), or dependence (My father will arrange for the investment) may suggest onset of negative mind-set in a young person. Defences like sublimation (Tiring oneself in physical activities) and substitution (A boy who is weak in studies learns to boost his ego by mastering a sport) are healthier defences. In a frustrating situation one has to be guided to adapt more healthier ways of coping with the threatening situation.
We have reasons to be concerned about the stress and its effects. Fortunately, many programs exist for preventing or managing stress. We have three broad options. First; to prevent it, second; escape from it or third; learn to adapt to it.
Prevention of stress can be achieved by
1) Improving communication-skills at home, educational institutions, work place and in the community.
2) Promoting team-work in colleges.
3) Life-skill education including
sexual-health and relationship education, pre-marriage counselling for boys and girls crossing
4) Time and life-style management,
including physical-exercise, sports, social-work etc.
Escape from stress can be achieved by
1) Changing vocation,
2) Changing residence or,
3) Opting for a nuclear family set-up. Stress management programs for youth
involve co-operation between
1) College teachers and groups like Rotary, Lions, and Giants clubs interested in social-works.
2) Doctors, including professionals in psychiatry and counselling,
3) Family members and 4) Friends.
They include social support and life-style management programs.
People having weaker social support experience more stress. Better social support requires networking of resources from work-place, home and health professionals.
Support can be in the form of
1) Entrepreneurial assistance by govt. & educational institutions, banks and social clubs like Rotary.
2) Helpful information by teachers, vocational & placement counsellors, 3) Stress evaluation and counselling
by qualified professionals, and 4) Emotional support by family.
Life style management program include
relaxation, self-hypnotism with positive imagery, diet and exercise management. These techniques can be learnt from psychological health professionals.
personal well-being by doing breathing-regulation progressive muscular
Greater awareness and use of specialist professional services among youth will go a long way in improving quality of life, prevent complications of stress like anxiety, depression, addictions, suicide etc and ensure healthy development of youth, so very important for our nation to progress.
Powered by knowledge…Driven by empathy
Dr. Deepak Rathod
Psychiatrist & Management Trainer
Director, Sahyadri Neuro-Sciences, Institute of Mental Health, KALYAN
President, Indian Psychiatry Society, West Zone (Guj, M.S. & Goa) – 2019-20
Founder, Psychiatry Society of Thane
Founder, Ambernath Medical Association
Regulatory Board Member (RKS), Regional Mental Hospital Thane.
Accredited Speaker, Medical Council.
Anmol CHS, Opp. Bhoirwadi Bus Stop, Birla
College Road, Kalyan-W
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