How Stress Can Affect Your Teen Physically

Stress comes into our lives in all different types and sizes and it affects everyone a little differently. There are several common ways that stress impacts a teen physically.


Stress can cause a person to feel nauseous but may not make them actually throw up. Stomach aches can be accompanied by headaches but won’t cause fever-like symptoms since they do not contain a virus. Continual complaints of stomach aches and/or nausea is often a sign of extreme stress.

Nauseous Teen Girl - Teen Rehab Photo by mislav-m

Acting Out

A stressed-out teen may act out around other people, even if they seem like their regular selves at home. If you’re concerned your teen is under a lot of stress, talk to other parents, teachers and coaches to see if your teen has been behaving normally or if they have been acting out. If not, they can at least keep an eye out for out-of-the-ordinary behavior.

Mother Disciplining Teens - Teen Rehab Photo by vancouverfilmschool


Extreme stress can have an impact on your teen’s hygiene and physical appearance. Disheveled appearances can be the result of lack of sleep caused by stress. Body odor and acne breakouts can also be brought on by stress or poor hygiene. It is worth suggesting to your teen that a shower, a bath, or freshening themselves up might make them feel better in their own skin.

Disheveled Teen Girl - Teen Rehab Photo by H o l l y.


When undealt with, stress can have a really negative affect on the body. It can cause people to change their eating habits—eating more or less—which can in turn lead to eating disorders, heart attacks, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and other major health problems. When facing a stressful situation, the body’s natural reaction is to go into “fight-or-flight” response, causing the muscles to tense, blood pressure to soar, pupils to dilate and can eventually result in some of the health problems listed above.

Aching Teenage Girl - Teen Rehab Photo by H o l l y.

Sleep Problems

When the body is in fight-or-flight mode, it’s running on adrenaline, which can shift sleeping patterns and make it harder for your teen to sleep. On the other hand, chronic stress can cause teens to oversleep and have low energy. There’s also a chance that they aren’t eating enough and therefore are not filling their bodies with enough energy.

Napping Teenage Girl - Teen Rehab Photo by Christina Welsh (Rin)

Feature Image: Photo by jeffjuit