Mental health is common in teenagers, so being confident you can spot it could help you to better support your teens and ensure they get the help they need. However, it can be tough to do this. Some of the changes that teens go through naturally, can also be changes in mental health. It can depend on how many of the issues are present at once, rather than looking at one thing in isolation. Let’s take a look at a few ways you could recognize a mental health problem:
A Change In Sleeping Habits
Teens do tend to want to rebel and stay up late, occasionally staying up all night. After all, they can bounce back from this so much easier than adults. However, it obviously isn’t healthy to continuously go to bed late and get up late – especially if this is also affecting things like energy levels, focus, mood, and the ability to do things they need to do, such as homework or a part time job. This is just one sign, so make sure you look for other signs, too. It’s important to remember that things like this can also crop up following a tough incident, such as a fight or even a car accident. If your teen is having to talk to tough pedestrian accident attorneys and heal from an injury, for example, they are going to feel stressed and you will notice changes in their manner.
A Change In Eating Habits
A change in eating habits could also indicate a problem. Again, this isn’t always the case. However, if your teen suddenly seems to be bingeing or eating very little, it could be worth bringing it up. Whatever you do, make sure you do this carefully, as you could make a problem worse with the wrong approach.
A Change In Their General Mood
If your teen seems irritable, anxious, depressed, or constantly pessimistic, it could be a sign something is going on. Again, a teen’s hormones are running rampant, so it could be normal. However, if your gut says something is wrong, it could be a good idea to listen to it.
If you think your teen could be going through something, or they have expressed to you that they are, here’s what you can do:
- Identify Stressors – it could be too much homework, stress about exams, or something else. See if you can identify your teen’s stressors/triggers.
- Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle – you can’t force your teen to exercise, get outside, and eat balanced meals. However, you can provide healthy food/snacks, and demonstrate that lifestyle yourself.
- Offer Counseling – there’s no shame in needing help. Your teen may want to speak to an impartial party, rather than confide in you. Remember, this doesn’t mean they are hiding things. They may just feel like they don’t want to upset you, or like you will have an extreme reaction.
- Medication – there’s no shame in needing medication, either. If these problems persist, a professional opinion regarding medication could help.