All a parent ever wants is for their child to be happy and healthy. Unfortunately, by the time they become teenagers, they will change so much that most parents will ask themselves:
Is my teen struggling, or are they just being a regular teenager?
The changes in moods, behavior, and even becoming a bit more withdrawn are all signs that your teen is just going through a phase. But, they can also be signs of mental health issues.
Here’s how to tell if your teen might be struggling with their mental health.
Common Mental Health Issues in Teens And Their Symptoms
● Constant low mood and even sadness
● Outbursts of crying
● Low energy or interest in activities they used to love
● Being easily irritated
● Showing signs of hopelessness
● Becoming more and more socially isolated
● Having issues with sleeping (such as sleeping too much, or developing insomnia)
2. Drug Abuse
● Major changes in their behavior and reactions (hiding things, stealing money, becoming easily angry)
● Lack of appetite
● Dilated pupils
● Red eyes
● Skin problems
3. Eating Disorders
● Complaining about their weight and appearance
● Thinking they are overweight even if they have a normal weight
● Lying they’ve eaten
● Not eating with the family
● Becoming defensive when asked about eating habits
● Going to the bathroom right after they eat something
● Unexplained cuts or bruises on their body
● Covering themselves up even during the summer
● Signs of depression
● Becoming more isolated from family and friends
● Having low self-esteem
How Do You Reach Out to Your Teen?
If you think your teen is struggling with any of these issues, you may find it difficult to reach out to them. Teens commonly don’t want to open up to people about their inner struggles, and they tend to become very defensive when they are comforted.
It’s important to make sure you create a safe environment for your teen to open up to you. Here’s how to encourage your teen to discuss their struggles with you:
● Help them understand that you are worried they may be struggling
● Let them know they will not be judged or shamed if they talk to you
● Give them some resources where they can learn more about their struggles, such as websites or brochures
● Try not to blame yourself for what your teen is going through
● Level with them if you’ve been through a similar experience when you were their age
● Tell them you are always around to talk but don’t pressure them
● Tell them about their options moving forward, such as talking to a therapist or counselor, and let them decide what feels best for them
Reaching out to your teen can be difficult, but if you notice they are struggling, it’s important to provide a safe environment for them to come to you. Make sure they know you are there for them, no matter what.
Visit these sites for more information on mental health treatment: