It is not easy being a teenager. Your body is changing, your hormones have you confused, and you are feeling new things both mentally and physically. Socially, it can be a nightmare for an adolescent, and these stressors can lead to emotional problems, mental health issues, and substance abuse. One in five adolescents has had a serious mental health disorder in their life, and, sadly, suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.
If you are concerned about the mental health of an adolescent child in your life, we urge you to look for the following warning signs and encourage you to take appropriate action. Follow up by contacting Vista del Mar Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in Ventura, CA for more information.
Adolescents and Mental Health
Understanding an adolescent can be a chaotic and confusing endeavor for any parent, so when your adolescent’s mental health is a concern, it can become overwhelming. When your child is an infant, they are developmentally unable to communicate what is wrong. As adolescents, sometimes they are emotionally unable to share their feelings.
This can be even more exasperating when it is an issue with your child and his or her mental health. You want to see a happy, achieving child, especially as they approach adulthood, and you may worry that you are failing as a parent because they are morose and withdrawn.
Signs of a Mental Health Struggle
The best thing you can do for any child is to be observant. Just as there are signs of a cold or flu, you can look for these signs when it comes to adolescents and mental health issues:
- Changes in behavior (social butterfly becomes withdrawn)
- Heightened emotions
- Mood swings
- Aggressive behavior
- Disrupted appetite and sleep
The trickiest part about working with your adolescent(s) is determining which actions are due to mental health issues, and which are just the pains of puberty. The best thing to do is try to talk to them, and to talk with a mental health professional.
If you observe behavior that seems out of the norm for your teenager, and it continues for an extended period of time, it is time to call the Assessment and Referral professionals at Vista Del Mar Hospital to determine the appropriate level of care. Contact us today so we can help you help your adolescent mature into a fine upstanding adult.