Adolescent/teen years is a time which seems to cause parents or caregivers the most concerns and frustration. Teenagers are trying to express their independence while figuring out their place with their peers and the world. It’s during this time teenagers and parents may clash and parents are asking themselves if these changes are normal. When behaviors and moods are causing difficulties in the home, school, or community, it may be time to seek help for your adolescent/teen. Below are some common issues to look for:
Academic Underachievement – Teens may struggle with recurrent patterns of acting out, disruptive, and negative attention seeking behaviors which interferes with their school performance and grades. Teens may begin skipping classes and verbalizing a dislike of school.
Anger Control Problems – Teens may demonstrate a pattern of episodic excessive anger and rationalizes or blames others for anger outbursts. The teen may yell excessively, swearing, and overreacts to perceived disapproval, rejection, or criticism. Teens may display aggressive behavior such as hitting walls, throwing objects, or destroying property.
Anxiety – Teens may struggle with excessive worry, or fear that markedly exceeds the normal level for the stage of development. The teen may struggle with difficulty concentrating, trouble falling or staying asleep, and a general state of irritability.
Depression – Teens may struggle with a change in mood such as irritability, lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, expresses feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness and low energy. The teen may expresses sadness and is tearful for more days than normal.
Delinquency – Teens may refuse to comply with rules or expectations in the home, school or community. They may be fighting, intimidating people or animals, or have a history of stealing. They may have a disregard for authority figures such as teachers, parents, etc.
Low Self-Esteem – Teens may verbalize self-disparaging remarks, see themselves as unattractive, worthless, stupid, a loser, a burden or unimportant. They may not be able to accept compliments, or able to identify or accept positive traits or talents about self. They may act out in negative, attention-seeking ways or have difficulty saying no to others.
Substance Use – Teens may change peer groups to one that is noticeably oriented toward regular use of alcohol or drugs. Teens’s behavior may dramatically changed such os isolation, drop in grades and sleeping more. Drug paraphernalia and/or alcohol may be found in the teen’s possession. The teen may be observed intoxicated and/or high on two or more occasions.
Suicidal Ideation – Teens may be preoccupied with thoughts of death or have recurrent suicidal thoughts. The teen may express a bleak, hopeless regarding life. The teen may be demonstrating self-destructive behavior such as cutting, dangerous drug or alcohol use which may indicate a disregard for personal safety or an attempt from emotional distress.
If your teen struggles with any of the issues above, it is time to schedule an appointment for therapy. If you have questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with Christina Romero, click here.