Have you noticed changes in your teen’s behavior? Many parents would agree that a child entering his or her teen years comes with a unique set of challenges. On a given day, teens can face struggles ranging from bullying, sadness, guilt, shame and much more – all while experiencing biological changes to their moods and behaviors. As a parent or guardian, it can be difficult to determine when your teen needs therapy from a mental health professional since mood changes are common among teens. Here are instances where therapy is a great solution for equipping teens with the tools needed to overcome mental health issues that are negatively affecting their quality of life or ability to thrive.
If you’ve noticed behavior issues that have begun affecting your teen’s performance in school, a mental health professional can be instrumental in finding the root cause of the issue. Children experience a more complex range of emotions as they enter their teen years than they’ve ever felt before. Academic pressures can take a toll on a teen. A mental health professional can work to provide a teen with the emotional tools needed to deal with the stress.
Have you noticed your child acting withdrawn from family and friends? The emotional and physical changes puberty brings with it can give rise to behavior issues. As a result, making friends and understanding how to communicate with others can be more difficult. Professional help allows for teens to speak freely without any fear of repercussion. Over time, a teen who has voiced his or her challenges to a therapist can begin to develop strategies to overcoming communication issues.
Signs of Depression
It’s recommended to seek the help of a professional therapist if your child has begun exhibiting signs of depression. It’s completely normal to feel sad from time to time. But if your teen has displayed signs of depression for weeks or months, a therapist is integral in improving his or her mental health. Depression can be triggered by a number of life events, including divorce, past trauma, moving into a new home, being bullied and several other factors. Moreover, symptoms of depression include frequent anxiety, anger, thoughts of suicide, changes in weight or eating habits, and others that you can read more in-depth about here. Fortunately, depression is highly treatable for those who decide to seek professional help.
Drug and Alcohol Use
It’s likely that most teens will have access to drugs and alcohol by some means. If a teen is going through a rough time, they may be tempted to use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. It’s important to address this right away with the help of a professional therapist if your teen is using drugs and/or alcohol. These substances can have a very negative impact on brain development when used at an early age. Also, substance abuse can severely limit important decision making skills.
Significant Changes in Mood
It’s common for teens to go through mood changes. However, you should seek help if you notice this in a significant way. Are you noticing very anxious behaviors, aggression, manic energy or other major changes in habits? If so, your teen may be experiencing more than just typical teenage moodiness. Professional therapists are adept at working with these behaviors and can recommend any medications, if needed. Mental health issues tend to be more common in families that have a history of them. As a result, you may want to find out if there’s the possibility of this in your family.
These are only a few signs indicating that your teen may benefit from seeing a mental health professional. KVC Kentucky is a nonprofit organization that provides in-home therapy services which have proven to be effective in overcoming mental health issues. We accept most types of insurance and go to our clients’ homes rather than requiring an office visit. If you’d like more information on in-home therapy and other behavioral health services, we encourage you to contact us.