With constant news on the pandemic, closures and cancellations, along with constant messaging on how to avoid infection, to say this situation is overwhelming is an understatement. In fact, Dr. Marcia Slattery, UW Health Professor of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and Director of the UW Anxiety Disorders Program, finds that the Coronavirus has created high levels of anxiety and stress for not just adults but for kids too. “It is out of the norm for everyone. The whole situation unfolded so quickly, leaving many people feeling shocked and in uncharted territory.”
Chronic headaches in children are common and only very rarely signal a more serious problem.
But for worried parents – concerned about managing their child’s pain and ensuring they can still participate in school and normal daily activities – dealing with it all can be… well, a big headache.
It’s often difficult to pinpoint a single cause, but most chronic headaches in kids can be tied back to some key triggers, says Cassie Meffert, a physician assistant in UW Health’s Pediatric Neurology Headache Clinic.
Stress is a normal and inevitable component of our lives. A little stress can be positive. It helps us prepare for things like a big exam or an upcoming interview. However, teenagers are under increasing amounts of negative stress today with issues such as gun violence at school and cyber bullying on the rise. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence indicated that 60 percent of children have been exposed to violence either directly or indirectly in the past year.
Many parents may have experienced the challenges of getting kids to turn off electronic devices when time is up, and for some families it can even turn into a struggle with kids refusing to stop. Dr. Marcia Slattery, UW Health child and adolescent psychiatrist and director of the UW Anxiety and Stress Disorders Program, sees many families for whom screen time has become a “battle.”
Stress. Stress has propelled me through all-night cramming sessions, helped me to create 20-page midterm papers out of nowhere, caused me to miss the game winning goal, made me actually puke when speaking in front of a crowd of people, and propelled me to get off the couch and start taking control of my life. Stress is powerful. It has helped me to do some of my greatest work and yet it is something that at times has made me feel powerless, scared, and incapable of action. Stress is something that I have spent the last 20 years trying to manage and maintain in its most healthy and balanced form. So, I thought I would blog a little about stress: what it is, why we have it, how to best manage it without letting it get the best of you, and how to shake it off.