Teenagers can experience a lot of stress. They want to be well-liked, do well in school, and start to make some big decisions. Worrying about these pressures is normal, but if your teen is feeling hopeless or expressing feelings of worthlessness, it could be a sign of a mental health problem.
Signs of Mental Health Trouble
- Often feeling angry or worried
- Prolonged grief after a loss or death
- Using alcohol or drugs
- Exercising or dieting excessively
- Attempting to hurt others or destroy property
- Engaging in reckless behavior
How to help:
Do your best to maintain open communication with your teen. If you suspect a problem, don’t ignore it. Ask them what is bothering them, and remind them that it is easier to cope with problems before they get too large to handle. This is also a great opportunity for both of you to learn how to solve problems together.
Communicate with them about your values and expectations with positivity. Insist on honesty and respect while still giving them an appropriate amount of space. It may be easy to begin giving negative criticism when you start to notice problems, but teens respond better to positive feedback. Don’t forget to praise them for good behavior to help them feel a sense of accomplishment.
If you feel that you are not getting through to your teen, but are still concerned with their well-being, it may be appropriate to turn to therapy for help. It can help your teen understand why they are experiencing trouble and how to help them cope with high-pressure or high-stress situations.