Five signs your teen needs therapy
Could your teen need help, and if so, how can you know? Discover five signs your teenager may benefit from help from a therapist.
Teenagers deal with a lot of heavy stuff. Stressful school, challenging friends, self-esteem issues, and other life events can impact their mental and emotional health in ways that are hard to mitigate on one’s own. With the help of therapy, your teen can work through these issues in a comfortable environment.
While therapy for teenagers is often associated with mental health issues, it does not have to be. Many children struggle with more than one problem, so that a therapist can help your teen work through several issues at once. You can also do specific things at home to encourage communication and create a healthy relationship with your teen.
Here are five signs your teen may need therapy to get their life back on track.
1) You’re worried about their grades
It can sometimes be the beginning of teenage anxiety, and then, if left untreated like this, teenagers may experience a downward spiral. For example, children who are struggling with stress from school may not study as well or work hard on homework because they are worried they will not perform well enough to pass.
Some might even withdraw from activities and community involvement to avoid problems with their peers. Social anxiety and depression may also begin to set in if teenagers do not feel good about themselves or their performance in school.
Academic performance is a common source of stress for teens, as tests and assignments can often put them in a rut. A therapist can help your teen learn coping strategies and identify the root of their problems. They will also be able to guide your teen through mindfulness exercises and help them cultivate positive thinking in challenging situations.
2) They are worried about the future
Teenagers cannot always see far ahead, but they begin to worry that they will not be able to find a job. They are even more concerned with making their money stretch far enough so that they don’t need to take any other part-time jobs.
Unlike children in previous generations, teens today often go directly from high school into a two-year program for college. It can make it difficult for them to be sure about their future and make big decisions such as buying furniture or taking a second job. A lack of confidence in their future is a sure sign that your teen may need therapy to help them develop a more realistic view of their future.
The key to getting your teen to accept the reality of their future lies in understanding what is troubling them. When your teenager constantly desires more money or better things, they are not worried about their future. They are satisfied with their life because they have worked hard and made some achievements.
However, when teens need therapy to understand the reality of their future without them, you know that deep down inside, your teen is afraid that they might fail and that this fear may cause difficulty in making other important decisions.
3) They have ongoing physical pains
Adolescence is a time of many physical changes, and some teens experience physical pains that can give them headaches, stomachaches, and backaches.
If your teen complains of constant headaches or stomach aches that do not go away with rest and pain relievers, you should talk to them about seeing a doctor get medical help for their symptoms. If you notice unexplained bruises or unexplained broken bones in your teen’s bones, this could be a sign of abuse.
It’s important to rule out any issues with their heart or intestines before you take them to a therapist, but once those issues have been ruled out and the pains are still ongoing, your teen could be depressed, and the therapy could help them find ways to cope with their depression.
4) They are mixing with the wrong friends
Some signs your teen needs therapy may be if they are spending time with the ‘wrong’ people, like drug dealers or gang members. Even without being in risky situations, hanging out with these types of kids is not a good idea. They will encourage your teen to do things they should not be doing, such as skipping school or stealing.
It can cause clashes between parents and teens if the parents prefer one type of friend while the teenager prefers another. If your teen is making friends that you don’t feel are appropriate, this could be a sign that they may need therapy to find ways to get along better with you and other family members.
5) They have lost interest in other activities
The teen may struggle to find the energy to engage in hobbies, sports, and extracurricular activities. They may often say, “I don’t know what I like anymore” or “I can’t wait for summer vacation.” This withdrawal from social circles and other pastimes could signify that the teen needs some outside help to work out his troubles.
If your teen is losing interest in activities that they once enjoyed, this can be a sign that they are unhappy with their life, and this unhappiness can lead to depression. This loss of interest could include hobbies or sports, but it can also include school work. If your teen starts doing poorly in school and then quits attending or becomes bored with school, this could be a sign that therapy would be beneficial.
Take time to talk with your teenager and find out what they are dealing with. Your care and concern for them will lead them to have a brighter outlook on life.