It is not just the dramatic stressful events that exact their toll, but rather the many events of daily life that elevate and sustain activities of physiological systems.
Sustained elevated physiological systems are associated with sleep deprivation, overeating and other health-damaging behaviors such as feeling anxious, inability to sleep, poor judgement to name a few.
Allostatic overload produces the feeling of being “stressed out.” Over time, this results in wear and tear on the body. Allostatic overload it reflects not only the impact of life experiences but also of genetic load, individual lifestyle habits reflecting items such as diet, exercise, and substance abuse, and developmental experiences that set life-long patterns of behavior and physiological reactivity
Allostasis is mediated by:
· Adrenal steroids
· Growth hormones
· Cytokines related to the immune system
· Local tissue mediators like excitatory amino acids
What teenagers are overwhelmed by stress they are more likely to use substances to "calm the nerves". Here's what parents can do to help teenagers dealing with stress:
· Keep the lines of communication open
· Let your child know that you’re on his/her side
· Don’t judge your child to harshly, remember you made mistakes too.
· Make your home a safe place
· Create affordable fun family activities so you and your child can relax
· Spend time together
· If a particular situation is causing your child stress, role-play with your child and demonstrate options for how to handle the situation. Learn coping skills together. Talk with your pediatrician or request a consult to talk with a healthcare professional trained in stress management.
 McEwen B (2006). Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators: central role of the brain Dialogues Clini Neurosci 8:4:367-381