Adolescent Counseling in Round Rock, TX—Counselors and Therapists
Adolescence is a tumultuous time. There are numerous physical and emotional changes occurring all at once. As a result, knowing when to get help for your teenager can be difficult. You might be asking yourself, is this a serious problem or just adolescent angst? Or, is this just a temporary phase? While it is true that some problems are typical of many adolescents, serious psychological and behavioral issues can also develop during the teenage years. That is where the therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Round Rock can help. Our trained clinicians will assess the severity of your teenager’s behavior and provide the necessary treatment recommendations.
Is My Teen in Trouble?
While you want to be careful not to overreact, it is always better to be safe than sorry. The following are indications that your adolescent child may be experiencing problems that you need to address:
1. Significant Changes in Behavior
Adolescents are known for erratic behavior so this warning sign applies to a more significant shift in how they are acting. You probably know what “normal” behavior for your child is. Are they more irritable and aggressive than before? Has this behavior been consistent over several weeks rather than just a few days? A change in behavior is a general warning sign of a potential issue. If you find yourself wondering “who is this teenager living in my house?” it may indicate a problem.
Self-Harm should always be taken seriously. It may indicate depressive feelings and a tendency toward suicidal behavior. Parents should pay particular attention to cut marks on the arms and thighs. The deeper the wound, the more reason for concern.
3. Nicotine, Drugs, and Alcohol
Yes, many teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol and it does not become a bigger issue. However, many children develop serious substance abuse issues during the adolescent years. If you catch your teen using substances or your child appears to be trying to cover up the smell of smoking and alcohol, they may be getting themselves in too deep. Juuling, in particular, is very popular among adolescents and is hard to spot.
4. Risky Behavior
Adolescents tend to be more impulsive than adults so some risky behavior is to be expected. However, practices such as unsafe sex, promiscuity, and dangerous thrill-seeking actions (e.g., car racing) are a reason for concern. Additionally, risky behavior may indicate a serious psychological issue, such as bipolar disorder.
Your teenager likely wants some privacy. It is probably not surprising that they want to spend a lot of time in their room and don’t want to go on all those family activities. But, are they withdrawing even more than usual? Are they isolating themselves from friends as well? Do they no longer want to participate in that activity they used to love? Withdrawal is an indicator of depressive feelings and also a sign that they may be hiding something.
6. Negative School Performance, Attendance
One of the strongest signals of a problem is school behavior. Are your child’s grades suddenly going down? Have they gotten in trouble at school? Are they avoiding school or skipping class? If you notice any of these signs, it is a good idea to follow-up with your teen. Something is probably going on you would want to know about.
7. Body Image and Eating Issues
Problems with disordered eating often arise during adolescence. This is especially true for girls, who suffer from eating disorders at a much higher rate than boys. There is tremendous pressure in society to look a certain way and possess a particular body type. Social media has only exacerbated the problem, with its primary focus on imagery. It is important for parents to observe the eating habits of their teens. Are they restricting their intake? Do they make a lot of self-deprecating comments about their bodies? Are they visiting the bathroom after meals? Eating disorders lead to serious health consequences. You can usually see some signs if you look for them.
8. Sleeping Problems
Most adolescents don’t get enough sleep. They go to bed too late and they are made to wake up early for school. Cell phones and social media access has only made the problem worse. Sleep deprivation is related to a variety of negative consequences both physical and psychological. Depression and anxious feelings can result from a lack of rest. Memory and concentration problems are also common. People who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation are at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is not always the result of late-night phone usage. It can also be a symptom of a mood or anxiety disorder. Sometimes it becomes a vicious cycle, where it is hard to figure out which is causing which. In any case, it is essential that you prioritize sleep for your teenager. After that, if they are still suffering from insomnia or sleeping all day, it may be a sign of another problem.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
If you don’t know what is going on, you can’t help. Although it is normal for an adolescent to withdraw a bit from their parents, you have to do your best to stay involved in your child’s life. Make time to regularly talk to your teenager without the distractions of school, activities, and social media. If you discuss issues in a supportive, non-judgmental manner you are more likely to hear about what may be bothering them.
Schedule an Appointment at Thriveworks Round Rock
There are therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Round Rock that want to help you and your teenager. Our trained clinicians are ready to provide the assistance you need. If you feel your adolescent child may be in trouble please call us at 512-212-7045 or schedule an appointment online.