Behavioral health conditions are very common among young people. In fact, somewhere around 20% of all American teenagers are dealing with some type of mental health concern right now.
Considering that teens are at an age when communication with adults can be problematic, it is all the more important for adults to break through the challenges and talk with their teens. Indeed, dealing with it at the family level is a crucial first step of intervention.
Tips on Talking With Your Teen
1.) Choose an inclusive tone. Lectures are often tuned out.
2.) Don't do all the talking. Give your teen room to insert his/her own input. After all, that's what you want.
3.) Start conversations naturally. If there is too much buildup before it even starts, your teen may clam up before it even begins.
Getting teens the help they need starts with knowing the warning signs of a mental health condition. Teens that demonstrate low self-esteem or a lack of personal interaction may be on the path toward anxiety or depression. Though the causes of anxiety and depression can be difficult to pinpoint, we do know some of the major factors.
Brain chemistry and hormones play a role inside the body. Abnormal brain chemistry and imbalances in hormones can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiousness. This is even more common for those who have a family history, as these types of mental health conditions are often passed down through generations.
Add to that negative experiences (the nurture component, if you will) and you have even more risk factors. Abuse (or trauma) during childhood can create changes in the brain that lead to issues during teen years. Also, a lack of general positivity can turn a teen with an otherwise healthy outlook into one that reflects a listless helplessness that translates into more serious mental health problems.
Watch for any negative habits, such as frequent mood swings, less interest in school performance, or a withdrawal from schoolmates and activities. Poor mental health can also manifest in other unusual behaviors or physical symptoms, as well.
Regardless of your situation, take the time to communicate with your teen on a regular basis so that you remain in touch with their mental health status. And if you have concerns, reach out to Bluegrass for help. We have over 50 years of experience working with children and families on treatment plans to restore positive mental health.