You have probably thought of calling an adolescent therapist because the teenage years are hard for teens and parents alike. Some teens breeze through adolescence, but many more struggle with it, sometimes drastically. This raises the question: When does teenage behavior cross the line into worrisome territory?
Here are a few pointers to help you tell the difference between normal teenage blues and things you should worry about:
Determining if a child needs an adolescent therapist
A parent knows their child best, even if the child has turned into a mysterious teenager. They should trust that they can tell when their teen's mood, physical state and behavior change dramatically.
Keeping their teen's baseline traits in mind, a parent should be on the lookout for the following signs:
1. Struggles with daily activities
By the time a child reaches adolescence, their parent knows how they perform in class, sports and other activities. If the parent notices a pronounced shift in the child's grades, they should find out what is going on.
If the child suddenly loses interest in sports or hobbies that they previously enjoyed, then the parent should find out why.
Often, these changes will come with increased stress, irritability and moodiness. The teen may start to avoid school or social interactions.
Because a teenager will not always open up to their parents, the best way to identify and resolve the problem is with the help of an adolescent therapist.
2. Drops or changes their friends
If a teenager suddenly ends their friendships, a parent should worry. Sometimes there may be a good explanation for the change, but other times, the ending of long-term friendships could indicate something serious.
A parent should also worry if their child seems to have no friends, and they should get an adolescent psychologist to make sure everything is fine.
3. Has anger issues
If the teenager becomes angrier and more irritable than usual, then their parents may have cause to worry, more so if the anger causes them to be disruptive or a danger to themselves and others.
A therapist will help both parent and child get to the root cause of the anger.
4. Has excess anxiety
If a teenager starts to worry so much that they stop doing things they would normally do, they might be suffering from anxiety. A parent may observe that their child is more afraid of hypothetical outcomes than they used to be.
The fear and worry could be signs of anxiety disorder.
5. Has dramatic physical changes
If a parent notices that their child’s eating and/or sleeping patterns have changed drastically, they should worry. The teenager may also start to let themselves go in terms of grooming. They may isolate themselves socially and exhibit one or more of the symptoms listed above.
Combined, these signs may point to depression, and it is a good idea to consult an adolescent therapist immediately.
6. Is involved in risky behavior and talk of harming themselves or others
If a teenager begins to engage in behavior that puts themselves or others at risk, consider it a warning sign. If the teen self-harms, consider it an urgent sign for help. If the teen threatens to harm other people or themselves, take them at their word, especially when the behavior is accompanied by other signs. In all these cases, immediately enlist the help of an adolescent psychologist.
Seeing an adolescent therapist can only help
As a parent, you should trust your instincts when they tell you that something is not quite right. You have known your child their whole life, after all. Asking for help is not admitting defeat. It is actually the bravest and most compassionate thing you can do for your child.
With the help of an adolescent therapist, your child can find their way back to a healthier, happier life. If you feel that you need help with your teen, get in touch with us today.