Being a teenager can potentially be the most difficult time of your child’s life. Their life may seem to be in constant flux and turmoil, with highs and lows coming from all kinds of different directions. Your teenager is going to face challenges today that you may not have ever considered when you were that age and these challenges can cause significant difficulties for them. While there are many young people that are able to adjust well to the different changes that they face, others may struggle and may need assistance along the way. In order to deal with the issues that are unique to teenagers, there are specialized teen counseling services.
The issues and challenges that face teenagers today can seem overwhelming. While there have always been issues that teenagers have dealt with and continue to deal with, the complexities of what young adults see in front of them today can easily lead them astray and they can quickly find themselves spiraling out of control without knowing a way to make it stop. Issues such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression, eating disorders, OCD, social issues and the wide variety of other problems are all things that teenagers must deal with today.
Looking for Signs That Your Teen Needs Counseling
In the past, it was not uncommon for the treatment of teens that were going through issues with alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression or other mental, emotional or physical issues to be treated alongside of adults that were dealing with the same issues. The problem is that most teenagers simply do not have the maturity and understanding of situations that adults are capable of and the approaches taken in therapies of this nature were not nearly as effective with teenagers. Over the course of the years, there has been a shift in ideology that has created newer methods in dealing with teenagers suffering from issues of dependency or mental health. There are now treatments that are made to specifically target teenagers so that they can be in a more comfortable and effective atmosphere.
According to Mental Health America, there are numerous signs that you can look for that can be an indication that your child is dealing with depression. Look to see if there have been significant changes in their sleep patterns and their appetite. If they are sleeping a lot less or a lot more than what is usual or have lost an interest in eating, there may be something going on. Other signs of depression can include ongoing feelings of anxiety or sadness, a reluctance to get involved in social situations and activities, withdrawing from friends and family, mood swings and irritability and thoughts of suicide. If you notice any of the signs in your child, you want to be sure to take action as quickly as possible to seek the proper help.
You may notice that your child has begun a steady withdrawal from all that has become common in their life. They may pull away from the friends they have had for years and spend more time alone or more time with friends you are unfamiliar with, but they feel a common bond with. Your child may also pull back from interests they have had for years, such as sports teams, clubs or other hobbies that they enjoyed. Finally, your child may also withdraw from family and social activities and prefer to be alone.
Another sign that your child may need teen counseling is that you have seen a drastic change in their habits. It may be that your teen’s sleep pattern has changed drastically, where they get little sleep at all or want to spend many hours sleeping. You may see that they are more emotional, having mood swings that involve times of sadness followed by times of anger or other emotions. They may not have the same eating habits anymore, choosing to withdraw from meals or eating much more than was usual.
Various Treatments can be used
Not all teenagers will fit into a cookie-cutter approach to treatment. While some may do well in a one-on-one situation with a therapist or other mental health professional, others may not be able to open up in that type of setting. That is why you want to explore all of the different options available so you can get the treatment that your child will work well with. Some teenagers do much better in a peer counselor setting where they are in a group with other teenagers that are dealing with similar issues. Each person can then talk with the group in a safe and confidential atmosphere so that they can share what they are going through, come up with ideas and solutions that can help and learn the best ways to cope and overcome.
There are peer groups available where your teen can participate in teen counseling with other teenagers dealing with similar issues so that they know they are not alone in facing their troubles. You can also seek out family therapy sessions or one-on-one sessions with a therapist.
It is not at all unusual for a teen that is suffering from a substance abuse addiction to also experience a mental disorder or illness along with it. Very often, the mental disorder may be a direct or indirect cause of the substance abuse, linking the two. When a teen is diagnosed with two disorders at the same time, this is referred to as co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders can present unique challenges when you are looking for treatment for your child, so you want to take the time to find a program that can treat everything properly.
One May Lead to the Other
A common occurrence among teenagers is to have two disorders simultaneously, with one leading into the other. Incidences of depression, for example, can easily lead to some type of chemical dependency for your teen. Your child may find that drinking alcohol or using prescription drugs or illicit drugs helps to relieve the symptoms they feel from their depression, giving them a feeling of relief. However, the substance just temporarily masks the underlying issues, and when the effects wear off, the feelings return. The body, however, will quickly become dependent on the drugs or alcohol, requiring higher and higher doses to get the good feelings it wants. This leads to long-term issues of substance abuse and mental health symptoms that can last much longer.
Education is key
Adolescents today face pressures from all different directions. They feel pressure from school, their friends, their peers, and their family and society, each one seemingly pulling them in a different direction. All of these pressures can lead to an inability to cope with the problems they face each day, causing your teenager to exhibit behavioral issues in one of many different ways. When this happens, it can be very easy for your child’s life to spiral out of control and lead them down a darker path where substance abuse, depression, and severe behavioral problems can all manifest.
Regardless of your illness, education should always come first in any teenager’s life. Issues should not be swept under a rug, and education should still be a priority. Insight Academy allows for teens to continue their education by enrolling in a fully accredited private or public school distance teaching school which can offer different levels of schoolwork depending on how intensive their treatment may be. Teens will learn in a safe environment, while tutors and counselors communicate with your child’s school to meet the educational needs, graduation requirements, and college plans of your child. Insight academy will keep parents updated with their child’s academic progress, as well as give guidance on how to join a traditional school setting when the time is right.
Destructive behaviors have a tendency of returning when teens are provided with an excess of downtime. Insight Academy programs work on distracting your teen with productive activities such as cooking, yoga, cartooning, rock climbing, pottery and ceramics, fit camp, art classes, beach days and field trips. Each activity will also double as a therapeutic support group where teens can talk about their feelings and discuss more productive and healthy ways to spend the off time they have in their lives. All of these activities are aimed to provide teens with personal empowerment and enrichment so that they can eventually live completely normal, healthy lives.
Taking the First Step
When your child reaches his or her teenage years you already know that you are going to have a number of different challenges that you have faith. Just the physical and emotional changes that your child undergoes during this time of life can be difficult for them and for you. When you put on top of that the outside pressures and stresses that teenagers face today, things can get even more difficult. You may even reach a point where you find that your child is engaging in problematic activities or demonstrating behavior that is troubling to you.
Any or all of these signs could be indicators that your teen is facing issues. As much as you may want to help them and talk with them, teens are often reluctant to do so with parents and can get much greater benefit from the professional teen counseling they receive from therapy. Insight Treatment offers intensive outpatient programs that make use of a variety of treatment methods that are tailored to the specific needs of your teenager so they can be sure to get the help that is required. Yelp reviews highlight the “compassion” of their staff and how thankful families are with their help.
For more information call Insight Treatment at (818) 501-3512.