Teenage years can be challenging for both parents and teenagers. There are many new pressures both at home and at school that teens face that they may not know how to react to in the healthiest ways.
Some of the struggles that teens face are a normal part of growing up, like dealing with peer groups, experimenting with new ideas, and going through changes in mood, identity, and interests. The way that parents can help their teens through some of these issues is by talking to them, being patient with them, and creating an environment that is structured, accepting and supportive.
Young adults have moved out of their teen years but are still navigating their way through the world. They are just starting out on their own or are trying to figure out what to do next, how to find their way and struggle as well with the pressure of increased responsiblity and the pressure of knowing what to do when they may not know. Parents worry about their next step as well as try to help them navigate into the world in a healthy way. When the young adult can’t find their way easily negative feelings and behaviors may ensue.
Some problems that teens and young adults may need a counselor’s help to handle include:
- Changes in family life, like moving, divorce, or a death or serious illness in the family or of close friend
- The loss of a girfriend or boyfriend through death, a breakup of the relationship, or moving
- Developing an illness or disability
- Any kind of substance abuse or addiction
- Bullying or abuse
- Tragic events in the community or the world
- Eating Disorders
- Lack of self esteem and self worth
- Social anxiety
- Career options
While some teens and young adults can cope with these events better than others, almost all teens and young adults will benefit from talking to a counselor about them. Sometimes their behavior will indicate that there is a serious problem that requires therapy.
Some negative behaviors you may see in your teen or young adult are:
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors. These may include talking, joking, drawing, or writing about suicide or death, giving away cherished possessions, or expressing feelings that they are worthless or that things would be better without them. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call 911 or a suicide hotline or get medical help immediately.
- Symptoms of depression, like being withdrawn, lack of appetite, sleeping very little or more than 9 hours per night, loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, neglecting personal hygiene, or crying for no reason or seeming sad for longer than two weeks.
- Violent behavior, harming or threatening to harm themselves or others, including animals
- Suddenly gaining or losing a lot of weight, which could indicate a life-threatening eating disorder
- Extreme, rapid changes in moods or personality, or drastic changes that last more than six weeks
- Running away from home
- Illegal activities
- Behavior problems at school or at work
- Using tobacco, drugs, or alcohol
- A sudden change in friends
- Risky sexual behavior or sexual promiscuity
- Other risky or dangerous behavior
- Noticeable changes in school/work performance or attendance
- Inability to make decisions
Teens or young adults who exhibit any of these signs should be taken to a doctor to check for medical conditions that may lead to negative behaviors. A stay in the hospital may be necessary for a teen who is suicidal or experiencing severe medical problems. Therapy and counseling is an important part of treating these problems.
Debbie focuses on specific guidance and counseling geared specifically for teens and young adults.
Teens and Young Adults are learning about themselves and the world and need specific guidance geared toward this exploration. They have specific issues and thought patterns that need to be taken into consideration in counseling. Debbie has helped teens and young adults gain control of their mind and behaviors and heal the underlying causes of their symptoms. She understands this and focuses her teen counseling and young adult therapy session with the approach needed in order to help shift their thinking and behaviors and improve their self esteem so that they create a fulfilling, happy and successful life.
Contact Debbie for your free consultation and see how she can help your teen and young adult live a healthier life.