Being the parent or guardian of a teenager can be challenging, particularly when it comes to recognizing signs and changes in their mental health. Oftentimes these issues are hard to identify; however, there are certain tell-tale indicators you ought to keep an eye out for. If your teen is exhibiting concerning behavior, get help from a trained professional right away! Read on below for more insight on warning signs of mental illness as well as what transformations parents should look out for.
Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy
Mental health in teenagers is a more common occurrence these days than it ever was! And while this does not have to mean anything serious, being aware of the mental health of your child is essential! For instance, if your teen stops finding joy in the things they once loved, it could be a sign of teen depression or at least the beginning of one.
This could mean they are no longer interested in attending extracurricular activities, sports, or social events with friends. Additionally, if there’s sudden disinterest in hobbies or hobbies that matter to them, like baking or drawing, it may be a sign of larger mental health issues. Talk to your teen and see if you can get to the root of this disengagement. Early intervention can help keep teen depression from becoming debilitating; addressing the lack of interest sooner rather than later is key.
Withdrawing from friends and family
For parents of teens, it can be especially concerning if their child has suddenly started withdrawing from friends and family. It could mean that they’re struggling with mental health issues that they don’t feel comfortable sharing. If your teen goes from being a social butterfly to shutting themselves off and isolating, this could be an important warning sign that something deeper is going on.
It’s always best to reach out and offer support in a non-judgmental way so that your teen knows you are truly here for them should they wish to talk. Check in on them regularly to see how they are doing and let them know you’re there for them whenever needed. Most importantly, make sure to emphasize the importance of open and honest communication.
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
As a parent, it’s important to be mindful of changes in your teen’s eating and sleeping habits. Unexpected shifts can be more than an indicator that they’re going through typical teenage mood swings; they could also be a signal of underlying mental health issues.
If you notice your teen overeating or drastically under-eating, skipping meals, snacking late at night, staying up late but not getting enough sleep, or sleeping too much during the day, this could be an indication that their mental health needs more attention than it is currently receiving. It is vital to take these signs seriously and seek out professional help for your adolescent if necessary.
Mood swings or irritability
It’s important to recognize and be alert to any changes in the mental health of your teen. Mood swings or irritability can be a red flag, indicating the need for further discussion and attention. It may manifest itself through outbursts, attitude changes, feeling overwhelmed in social situations more easily than before, or even just increased defensiveness. If any of these behaviors emerge frequently and without apparent cause, it’s key to have an open dialogue with your teen about what is going on – and if needed, seek advice from an expert to steer them towards improved well-being.
Unexplained aches and pains
When your teen starts to show an increase in unexplained aches and pains – such as headaches, stomach aches, and backaches – it could be one of the warning signs that their mental health is taking a toll. This could be related to stress from school or from other issues in their lives. It’s important to talk openly with your teen about their experiences and symptoms to get to the root of the cause.
Taking action, such as visiting a doctor or therapist, can help provide timely treatment that could turn around a difficult situation and make a notable difference in your teen’s mental health. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that their physical health is also taken into account, as this can have a direct impact on mental well-being too.
Poor performance in school
As a parent, one of the clearest warning signs about the mental health of your teen can be seen in their school performance. If your teen’s grades start to drop suddenly or if they seem disinterested and unmotivated, these may be potential signs that they are struggling mentally.
At this point, it is prudent to talk with them and figure out what’s going on. It could be anything from stressors at home or at school to a diagnosable mental health condition. Reaching out in an empathetic way sooner rather than later may help prevent further problems down the line, so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a child psychologist if necessary.
When it comes to monitoring your teen’s mental health, the most important thing is to stay informed and always listen to their feelings. While these warning signs are certainly red flags, there are often more subtle signs that a teen might be struggling with his or her mental health. Pay close attention to changes in behavior, mood, or any unexplained aches and pains.
Recognizing when something is wrong with your teen is the first step to finding help. A supportive family environment, qualified counseling or therapy, and patient advocacy can all be used to help teens succeed in managing mental health issues. Working together as a team will ensure positive outcomes for your teen’s mental well-being.