Warning Signs for Psychological DistressPosted by: CMS Webhelp 2 months, 1 week ago
We all need connection and relationships. Peer group connection and belonging is especially central to the healthy development of middle schoolers. Students often learn best in an environment where they feel safe and socially connected. This school year, the level of sustained attention and emotional regulation required in a zoom classroom is a big demand developmentally for many middle schoolers.
In this time of change, students are experiencing stress and anxiety. Your middle schooler may be taking on age-appropriate independence, but still looks to you for guidance on how to respond to stressful events. Most children will experience some challenges adjusting and cope with the support of parents and trusted adults. Simply put, emotional health affects centers for learning and some students may be at risk for more intense reactions. They may display fear, nervousness, and irritability or in the academic context have difficulty with concentration and participation in class.
Contact a professional if your child exhibits significant change in behavior or any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks. Some studies suggest that stressful events may affect the brains boys and girls differently resulting in different physical and emotional reactions to stressful events. While all students carry stress differently, common warning signs of emotional distress for tweens/early adolescents include:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and things
- Having low or no energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increase in conflicts
- Somatic symptoms, like unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomachaches or headaches
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Worrying a lot of the time; feeling guilty but not sure why
- Stay up-to-date on the facts. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for additional factual information.
- CASEL CARES is a new initiative that connects the community with experts to address how Social Emotional Learning can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances. https://casel.org/covid-resources/ . CASEL also offers a weekly webinar series, with topics to support children and families manage stress and build resilience. https://casel.org/weekly-webinars/