It can be very difficult distinguishing whether some of your teen’s actions and behaviors are just part of their adolescent adjustment process or whether they are signs and symptoms of a problem that needs discussing with a health professional.
See if the symptoms last weeks or months and are having a noticeable impact on their daily life; this would be an opportune moment to seek some professional guidance.
Palmer Lake Recovery has created a comprehensive Parent's Guide to aiding children and teens through mental health issues.
Here are some of those classic warning signs that parents need to be aware of –
You observe that your teen is feeling noticeably more anxious or worried
The frequency of tantrums or periods of irritability are more than you would expect, even allowing for the hormonal challenges your teen will face in their formative years
Your teen seems to be suffering from regular headaches or stomach pains without any identifiable explanation
Your teen seems unable to sit still or quietly for any length of time
They have trouble sleeping and seem to have frequent nightmares
You notice that they suddenly lose interest in things they have always enjoyed doing
They withdraw from their social group and seem to avoid spending time with friends
School grades and performance shows signs of decline
Your teen talks about their fears of weight gain and seems to diet or exercise excessively
They seem to suffer from very low energy levels, or alternatively, they have spells of intense and inexhaustible activity
Signs of self-harming such as cutting or burning their skin
Appear to be happy to engage in destructive or risky behavior
Smokes, drinks alcohol or uses drugs
Talks about having thoughts of suicide
Your teen believes that their mind is being controlled or is out of control, or they are hearing voices