Does my teen need behavioral health?

By June 15, 2018Blog

Given the number of school tragedies this year, let’s revisit a summary of an article by one of our clinicians titled “Recognizing the signs of mental illness in teens”. The full column appeared May 21, 2017 in the Centre Daily Times as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Concerning signs and symptoms suggesting that a teen is suffering from more than “growing pains” include:

    • Excessive worrying or fear
    • Feeling excessively sad or low
    • Confused thinking or problems concentrating or learning
    • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
    • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
    • Avoiding friends and social activities
    • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
    • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
    • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
    • Changes in sex drive
    • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things
    • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (lack of insight)
    • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
    • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing aches and pains)
    • Thinking about suicide
    • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
    • An intense fear of weight gain or concerns with appearance (mostly in adolescents)

No one sign means that there is a problem but listen to your instincts. Take action if you feel that your teen is not improving or not doing well as intervention is the key to addressing early and avoid great difficulties down the road.