Ten signs your kid needs counseling


The issues teenagers are confronted with these days are unique, as things like pursuing a career path or family have long since become things of the past.

With social media and technology amplifying these struggles to a large extent, the fact is that today’s teens are going through much more than what their parents may have endured at that age.

While most teens believe that they can figure out anything better than the adults they live with, the fact is that these young adults are afflicted with heavy issues related not only to their well-being but also to academics and relationships.

Though it is impossible to keep teens protected from harmful effects, there will be some common problems that they may face, such as:

Depression: 

15% of teens acknowledge that they have experienced depression, with girls more likely to face this issue than boys, and some carry the symptoms well into adulthood.

Anxiety:

Anxiety disorder in teens is on the rise, and there are a number of reasons for this, primarily family issues and worry about the world in general.

Peer pressure:

Adolescents consider acceptance as the most coveted social status and when a sense of social rejection creeps in it has an impenetrable negative effect in the form of peer pressure. Additionally,the risk of further rejection leaves the teen isolated and hopeless.

Bullying:

Bullying has been around for centuries, but the advent of social media has made it more invasive. Cyberbullies can inflict lasting emotional damage by posting harmful content online and shaming people.

Low self-esteem:

Just after childhood self-esteem takes a hit, mainly because of peer pressure and the need to measure up. This can hurt the teens social engagement and impact the confidence to forge healthy relationships.

Stress:

Teens today are more stressed than the generations before them, as apart from academics and making the school sports team, they also have to confront mass shootings, rising suicide rates and overall personal safety concerns.

Signs your teen needs counseling

Teen counseling is a form of therapy that is specially designed to help children and teens with a variety of mental, emotional and behavioral health issues.

By recognizing these signs and seeking help early, a parent can help the teen cope with the challenges and improve overall well-being.

  1. Changes in behavior:

A sudden change in behavior is a most common sign that your child needs help. This change can include defiant manners, difficulty in paying attention or following directions and a decline in academic performance.

  1. Emotional issues: 

Anxiety, depression and excessive worry are the main reasons for emotional difficulties in teenagers.They may also have nightmares or have trouble sleeping and if they display any of these symptoms they need counseling.

  1. Social problems:

Teens who struggle with social problems will have trouble making friends, be overly shy, withdrawn or have difficulty in communicating. If this feeling of disconnection is prevalent, then counseling can help develop the skills to improve their relationship with others. CBT treatments have been proven to be very effective in dealing with social anxiety in kids.

  1. Trauma and abuse:

Young adults who have experienced trauma or abuse may exhibit signs of anxiety, depression or anger apart from trusting others 

  1. Grief and loss:

Loss of loved ones can cause a teenager to exhibit symptoms of sadness and difficulty to concentrate.They may also struggle with guilt and blame and have trouble sleeping. Counseling is a must to treat these issues.

  1. Getting into fights:

Disheveled hair, broken school bag or bruises are all overt signs that your teen is either facing an issue at school or is being troubled by some internal problem.

  1. Harming animals:

Harming an animal is a sign of a deep-rooted issue that should serve as a red flag for parent’s to take immediate action to address the core of the problem your teen is facing.

  1. Preoccupied with appearance:

Looking good is a major issue for teenagers, but when that is all they think about it is time for the parent to explain that looks are not everything. Early counseling in this matter can help in the long run.

  1. Constantly seeking conformation:

Constantly asking parents for reassurance or turning to news and social media for seeking information is an indicator of anxiety. Counseling can help to expose this fear of not knowing and build resilience in the teenager.

  1. Other overt signs:

Complaints from teachers, stealing or truancy are some signs that your teens mind is troubled and professional help is required.

What are the options?

Concerns that teenagers face today are multifarious and parents, teachers and guardians should mitigate them to the best of their abilities.Below are some ways to help your teen overcome these challenges:

Maintain healthy communication:

Parents need to listen more than lecture, hence healthy communication means you not only talk to your teen but hear them out as well.

Making it easy for the teen to explain what is troubling them, means you have already started working on the solution.

Encourage them to seek support:

When it goes beyond normal teen moodiness,you can encourage them to approach a school counselor or a mental health provider. In addition, school group counseling meetings can help those experiencing similar symptoms.

Online therapy is also a way to help teens with mental health struggles. There are platforms who specialize in working with teens, and are especially useful for those who suffer from social anxiety and struggle to get out of their house. Many kids are so used to looking at their phone all day, that they actually find video therapy easier.


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