Young people, stress and chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E

Managing friendships, relationships, school and work presents many challenges for young people as they navigate their way through adolescence towards adulthood. Ideally, they will gain valuable experience as they learn how to cope with a greater range of daily demands and responsibilities. But if demand exceeds capacity to cope, stress levels go up, anxiety increases and this can lead to overwhelm and eventually, exhaustion.

This often occurs during the 2 year lead up to GCSE exams. An increased workload, more frequent testing, the pressure to do well (imposed by self and others), and less time spent on out of school activities, all combine to increase stress levels.

Increased stress impacts immune function and can lead to frequent colds, sore throats, swollen glands, tonsillitis or even glandular fever. Other signs of stress are lack of motivation, irritability, moodiness, tearfulness, withdrawal, anger, low mood, loss of appetite, over-eating, sleep problems, headaches, self-harm, and stomach ache. These are all warning signs that the young person is struggling to cope.

If not dealt with in time, stress becomes chronic which can then lead to the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome or M.E. Despite this, many young people continue their education, either at school or home. And to achieve this, social life, sports and other non-school activities are often sacrificed. Confidence and self-esteem are often negatively affected too.

Other stressors for young people

Transition from primary to secondary school, friendships/peer pressure, bullying, social media and the desire to look perfect and be popular, technology addiction, the state of world affairs, anxiety, worry about the future, depression, perfectionism, negative body image, low confidence/self-esteem, bereavement, physical or mental abuse, poverty, parental disharmony, divorce, leaving home, university exams.

Illness itself is an additional stress factor which can lead to feelings of isolation and guilt. Parents can struggle to understand the illness whilst coping with the extra pressure of caring for a child who is unwell, leading to more family stress.

Positive outcomes for young people with chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E

In a survey of our clients’ improvements. fourteen young people aged between 10 – 25 years replied. They had all been diagnosed with either CFS or M.E. This is what we determined:-

88% greatly improved, 12% improved.
10 respondents had sustained good health for at least 2 years.
43% were severely affected before originally contacting us.
The length of illness prior to initial contact with us ranged from 4 months to 11 years.

We have found that young people consistently respond well on The BodyMind Programme. By learning how to manage stress, they can recover their health and thrive in the long-term.

“My life has changed beyond recognition”, Darragh aged 22.

“Hannah’s now dancing 5 hours a week”, Julia, Hannah’s mum.

“Our son and brother has returned”, Greg, Wilson’s dad.

Do call us for a free consultation on 01728 687494.
We can also put you in touch with other parents who have
successfully been through the programme with their child.