The start of a new school year is always full of stress, but the mental health struggles that students are going through can be difficult to identify. With anxiety and depression being at an all-time high in teenagers, it’s important to know how to best support your child during these difficult times. In this blog article, you’ll learn what signs they might be struggling with mental illness, who they might talk to if they’re going through a time of crisis, and also how to start a conversation about mental health.
Why Are Teenagers Especially Susceptible To Mental Health Issues?
It has been well-documented that teenagers are more susceptible to mental health issues than any other age group. This is because they are still developing physically, emotionally, and intellectually. While they are also facing new challenges such as making friends and adjusting to a new school, they have fewer coping mechanisms than adults do.
Some of the most common mental health issues among teenagers include anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders. It is important to note that not all teenagers will experience every type of mental health issue listed above, but it is important to be aware of the risks so that you can help your teenager if they do experience them.
There are many ways to help your teenager deal with their mental health issues. You can talk to them about what is going on in their life and encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. You can also provide them with resources like books or websites that can help them learn more about their condition and how to deal with it. Finally, you can provide support during tough times by being there for them and listening without judgment.
What Are The Signs That Someone Is Experiencing A Mental Health Issue?
Teenagers are prone to experiencing mental health issues for a variety of reasons. It can be difficult for them to cope with the challenges and stresses of growing up, and they may not have the support they need from their family or friends. Some common signs that a teenager is experiencing a mental health issue include:
- Displaying mood swings or feeling out of control
- Lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy
- Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
- Talking about suicide or self-harm
If you are worried about a teenager you know, it is important to talk to them about how they are feeling. There are resources available in your community, like hotlines and counselling services, that can help them get the support they need.
How To Know If Your Teens Need Professional Help?
If you are concerned about your teenager’s mental health, you may want to consider seeking professional help. Here are three ways to know if your teen needs professional help:
- Ask them. If you’re not sure whether your teen needs professional help, ask them. Teenagers often feel embarrassed or ashamed when they need help, but that doesn’t make the problem any less real. They may be able to share their thoughts and feelings with you and provide valuable insight into their situation.
- Observe changes in behaviour. Changes in behavior can be a sign that something is wrong and your teen should seek professional help. If your teenager is exhibiting unusual mood swings, becomes withdrawn, has lost interest in activities they once enjoyed, or begins to exhibit disorganized speech patterns, it may be time to talk to a doctor about their situation. With regards to speech problems, a speech therapist from organizations similar to this non-profit foundation can help improve communication skills and provide coping strategies for managing any underlying issues that may contribute to the disorganized speech patterns. The important thing is not to ignore the changes and to seek help from a qualified professional who can properly evaluate your teen’s situation.
- Talk to someone else who knows your teenager well. If you’re worried about your teenager but don’t know where to start, talk to someone else who knows them well – a family member, close friend, or trusted adult neighbor could be a good resource. Talking openly and honestly with someone can help put your mind at ease and make the decision whether or not professional help is necessary for your teen.
What Can You Do For Your Teen?
One in five teenagers experiences a mental health problem, and for some, these problems can be severe. If you’re a parent or caregiver of a teenager, here are some things you can do to help:
Counseling from experienced professionals like Rachel Cohen can be instrumental in addressing teen social anxiety. By creating a safe and supportive space, counselors work closely with adolescents to understand and manage their fears and concerns. A professional of similar caliber can also work towards identifying the root causes of their anxiety, such as past experiences, negative thought patterns, or low self-esteem. What’s more? Counseling allows teens to build self-confidence and develop essential social skills. It can also involve family therapy to improve familial support and understanding.
Therapy for social anxiety disorder can be transformative, and it’s not limited to traditional talk therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an equally effective approach for treating social anxiety disorder. A recent study further emphasizes the positive impact of CBT in addressing social anxiety disorder, providing valuable insights into its effectiveness.
Medications can be beneficial in treating social anxiety in teens by alleviating symptoms and promoting overall well-being. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly prescribed medications that can reduce anxiety and improve mood. When combined with therapy, medication can provide comprehensive support in managing social anxiety, allowing teens to engage more comfortably in social interactions and improve their quality of life. However, medication should always be prescribed and monitored by a qualified healthcare professional.
Some More Things You Can Do To Help Your Teen!
- Talk openly and honestly with your teen about their feelings.
- Be supportive and understanding when they experience difficult emotions.
- Encourage them to seek professional help if they need it.
- Give them opportunities to express themselves creatively.
- Make sure they have enough sleep and nourishment.