|Counseling and Psychiatric Services for Adolescents and Young Adults
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
When it comes to information, more isn’t always better, especially when it comes to our teens. (Photo credit: Anoka County Library)
In part 2 of this series, information on additional mental health conditions is covered. Read Part 1 of the series here.
Cutting and Self Harm
- StopBullying.gov from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Great resource for parents that provides information on how to combat the negative effects of bullying.
- Bully-Proofing Your Kids from CNN – In-depth article examining what parents can do to help their children avoid and overcome bullying
- How Parents, Teachers, and Kids Can Take Action to Prevent Bullying from the American Psychological Association – Provides a report with targeted sections for each group outlining what to look for and how to help prevent bullying behavior
- Bullying: What Parents Can Do from the National Crime Prevention Council – Offers parents strategies on what to do if their child is being bullied or if their child is the bully
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology – Provides a good overview of OCD in adolescents and provides links to other resources
- OCD in Children and Teens from the International OCD Foundation – Offers parents insight in what it is like to live with OCD, an overview of treatment options, and a resource for finding help locally.
- Child and Adolescent OCD from the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Gives parents a good overview of the most common obsessions and compulsions experienced by children and teens and discusses the effect OCD can have on the overall family
- OCD in Teens from Beyond OCD – Offers a section of information ”Just for Teens” about this disorder that includes an overview of the disorder, a list of symptoms, information on why therapy works, and links to other resources
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder
- What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health – Offers an overview of the disorder, the symptoms, causes, and treatment option
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder from Teen Mental Health – Provides information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, risk factors, and how to help support loved ones with the disorder
- Panic Disorder in Children and Adolescents from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology
- Panic Disorder from Teen Mental Health - Provides information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, risk factors, and how to help support loved ones with the disorder
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
English: Actor Cory Monteith at premiere party of TV series Glee, Santa Monica, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The recent death of Corey Monteith, one of the stars of the popular teen TV Show Glee serves as a stark reminder that we can lose people in our lives at any time. For our teenagers and some adults, the loss of a favorite actor or other celebrity can be as emotional as the loss of a loved one, especially if the parts the person portrayed were or the music the person made created a connection between the teen and the show or the song. But no matter who it is that a teenager in our lives has lost, there is no question that it is our job as the adults to step up and help them cope with their feelings of loss and deal with their grief.
While loss is a part of life, it is often a part that parents and other adults go to great lengths to shield children and teens from experiencing. But when the worst happens, supportive adults who can guide the youth around them through the grieving process are doing more than just helping them through a difficult time. They are giving them the skills to endure loss on their own and to help others learn the same lessons as they grow into adults.
Experiencing the loss of a loved one is never easy and the grieving process is not the same for children at different life stages as it is for adults. In order to be supportive of the young people in your life who have experienced the death of someone close to them, it is helpful to understand how grief can manifest differently in teens than it does in adults.
Here are some of the signs caregivers and other adults should be aware of that can indicate a teenager is grieving:
- Heightened emotional responses
- Being tired all the time
- Experiencing anxiety attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Angry outbursts
- Inability to concentrate
- Depression and loss of interest in daily life
- Trouble sleeping
- Not eating
- Frequent non-specific physical complaints like headaches and stomach aches
- Unwillingness to be left alone or being afraid of being alone
- Pulling away from friends
- Refusing to go to school or to stay at school for the entire day
- Reverting to younger behaviors like bedwetting and thumb-sucking
- Drop in grades
- Imitating the person who has passed away
- Asking lots of questions about the person who has died
- Expressing the desire to go where the person they lost is or to join them in death
- Inventing or playing games that revolve around dying
The Most Important Thing
When it comes to experiencing a loss, the most important thing you, as an adult, can do for the teenagers in your life is to help them find a way to grieve and deal with the loss. Any behavior that helps deny, avoid, or overlook the loss is unhealthy and can lead to very real long term problems later in life. Teenagers need to go through the process of grieving even though it is painful and difficult and sad and the adults in their lives, despite the instinct to protect, must allow them to grieve in the way that works for them.
What You Can Do
1. Be Honest
Don’t talk around the issue or try to lessen the pain by using buffering words and phrases like “passed away.” Answer questions honestly and age appropriately.
2. Don’t Over Share
While honesty is the best policy, there is such a thing as too much truth and when it comes to teens and the loss of a loved one, less is better. Don’t overload them with information and don’t get into the details unless they ask for more information.
3. Be Sad and Let them Be Sad Too
Losing someone we love is sad. It can induce all kinds of fears about the future and challenge our sense of security. Teenagers feel these same things. Don’t try to talk them out of feeling sad or angry or any other negative emotion. Be supportive and encourage them to express their feelings. Validation, support, and a good, empathetic listener is what they need rather than false promises that everything is going to be fine.
4. Don’t Expect Too Much Too Soon
Grieving is a process that will involve good days and bad days. Sometimes things will be going well and something will pop up that triggers a memory or jumpstarts the grieving process. Be patient and understanding as these grief triggers go off and make yourself available for support when they do.
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
One of the benefits about the information age is the unlimited access to information with the click of a mouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the best things about living in the information age is that we have almost unlimited access to information with the click of a mouse or a few simple keystrokes. For parents who are struggling to understand their teenager’s behavior, this can be a great asset. Unfortunately, one of the worst things about living in the information age is also the fact that we have almost unlimited access to information with the click of a mouse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the access itself may seem like a godsend, the truth is that even though we have access to more and more information every day, not all of it is good, not all of it is vetted, and unlike the encyclopedias of the last century, it is often hard to find definitive sources that you can trust. For parents, more information is not necessarily beneficial if it isn’t good information. To help, we have pulled together the following list of sources that provide reliable information on teen mental health issues that parents can trust.
This collection of information can help parents identify areas of concern and answer questions about the different mental health challenges teens may face. However, always remember that there is no substitute for the expertise and information provided by a qualified mental health practitioner. This information can be helpful in increasing parental understanding and awareness but if you suspect your teen is struggling with a mental health condition, make an appointment with a therapist, counselor, or other mental health provider as soon as possible so that your teen can get the help and support they need to overcome the challenges they are facing.
- Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents from HelpGuide.com – Good resource that aims to help parents increase their understanding of teen depression. Also provides details on signs, symptoms, and effects of teenage depression and information on the differences between depression in teens and in adults.
- Depression in Teens from Mental Health America – Offers insight into the causes of teen depression and outlines treatment options.
- Teenage Depression: Prevention Begins with Parental Support from the Mayo Clinic – Provides ideas for how parents can best support their teenager after a depression diagnosis.
- Helping Your Teen with Depression from Medline Plus which is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. – Gives parents an overview of treatment options, talks about medication, and offers details parents can use to determine when it is time to reach out to a professional for help.
- Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide website – This site offers a wealth of resources and information about suicide prevention including a video specifically for parents called “Not My Kid.”
- Preventing Youth Suicide – Tips for Parents and Educators from the National Association of School Psychologists – Gives a clear concise list of warning signs to watch for and actions to take. Explains the role the school should play in suicide prevention.
- Teen Suicide is Preventable from the American Psychological Association – Offers insight into the research on preventing teen suicide.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Eating Disorders: Tips to Protect Your Teen from the Mayo Clinic – Gives parents an overview of what contributes to the development of eating disorders and an idea of the short and long term consequences of these disorders.
- What are Eating Disorders? From the National Institute of Mental Health – Provides a good overview of disordered eating and a breakdown of signs, symptoms, and treatment for each primary disorder.
- National Eating Disorders Association website – great resource for a wide range of information from statistics to symptoms to research.
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAND) website – resource for a broad range of information related to eating disorders.
Monday, July 29th, 2013
There is no question that one of the hardest things about the parent-teen relationship is that they often struggle to relate to one another. They come from two different worlds, speak different languages, and have different priorities. But there is no question that one of the best ways to prevent everything from teen suicide to eating disorders to bullying is to have a strong parent-teen relationship. To help build stronger bonds and give everyone a chance to get to know each other better and understand each other’s perspectives, here are 50 fun things that parents and teenagers can do together.
- Build something like a shed, a garden, or a house for Habitat for Humanity.
- Fix something that is broken, even better if it something that the teenager likes and is invested in fixing.
- Cook Dinner together including picking a menu, grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up.
- Play a sport like tennis or soccer.
- Go for a hike.
- Read the same book.
- Go whitewater rafting.
- Play a video game.
- Play a board game.
- Play poker and use chores or favors instead of cash.
- Learn to do something new.
- Ride horses.
- Stargaze and learn to identify the constellations.
- Visit a museum.
- Go see two movies, one picked by the parent, one by the teen.
- Go to an art gallery.
- Go to a river or lake for the day.
- Play basketball.
- Take the dog for a walk or to the dog park.
- Teach each other something new.
- Plan a neighborhood scavenger hunt.
- Go bowling.
- Play miniature golf.
- Listen to music, alternating between each other’s favorite songs.
- Go to a baseball game and eat hot dogs.
- Pack a picnic and spend the whole afternoon in the park with no electronics.
- Throw a block party.
- Have a yard sale and split the profits.
- Spend the day at an amusement park.
- Go camping for a weekend.
- Visit a farm where you can pick your own fruit or vegetables and then use the fruits of your labor to make something at home.
- Redecorate a room in the house.
- Clean out everyone’s car.
- Start a new sport or hobby together like karate or cooking.
- Start a garden.
- Have a movie marathon.
- Go to an outdoor concert or music event.
- Dress up and go out for a special dinner.
- Make s’mores.
- Play hide and seek in the dark with flashlights.
- Help at a homeless shelter.
- Visit your parents/grandparents.
- Act like tourists and visit all the local points of interest.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Learn a second language together.
- Build a sandcastle.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Make a bucket list of things you want to do together before they grow up and move out.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
As your teenagers move their middle school and high school on their way to becoming young adults, one of the greatest gifts you can give them is good decision making skills. Being able to make good decisions will impact every area of their lives from the minute they step out from under your protection and into the world on their own. By teaching teens how to make good decisions you are also empowering them and showing them you have confidence in their ability to do so.
In order to understand the importance of teaching good decision making skills, it is helpful to look at what happens when we don’t. As we get older, we get wiser. We learn from our mistakes and gain insight from our experiences. Unfortunately, our teenagers don’t have the benefits of age, insight, and experience to guide their decision making. This means that they can make a lot of mistakes and a lot of bad decisions. This is not a bad thing because learning lessons from those mistakes and misguided decisions provide the foundation for becoming better decision makers. In order to create that foundation, teens need to be able to make mistakes and learn from them and parents need to provide the insight and perspective required to make better decisions in the future. This highlights the importance of the first step in helping your teen learn to make good decisions.
Let them Learn their Lessons
The beauty of being a teenager is that most of the bad decisions they make won’t cause irreparable, long-term harm or damage. Spending all their money on concert tickets and forgetting that they need money to pay for gas to drive to the concert can be a very powerful life lesson, if you let them learn it. Unfortunately, many parents miss these learning opportunities and bail their teenagers out by giving them gas money. Rather than helping them learn to make a better decision next time, this just reinforces their bad decision.
Don’t Curtail Consequences
As in the example above, one of the ways people learn to make good decisions is by having to live with and experience the pain of making bad decisions. If parents rescue their teens from unpleasant consequences, they are in effect telling them that it is okay to continue making bad decisions because they won’t have to be responsible for the end result. Why should your teen take care of the new computer you bought them if you bought it to replace one they broke because they were careless?
Put them in Charge
This is often one of the hardest things for parents to do but it is also one of the most crucial. In order for teens to learn how to make good decisions, they have to be allowed to make decisions. In an effort to protect them and ensure they are happy, we shield them from many things including their own bad decisions. But we aren’t really doing them a favor by doing this. You cannot to learn to do something well unless you are allowed to do it. The types of decisions you allow your child to make will vary given their age and maturity level. Pick the decisions that feel right to you and then be ready to stop yourself from intervening. It is better to let them make a bad decision and then be there to help them afterward than to never let them make any decisions at all.
Monday, July 8th, 2013
No parent ever wants to have to wonder if someone is hurting their child. (Photo credit: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography)
No parent ever wants to have to wonder if someone is hurting their child. Unfortunately, statistics show that this kind of abuse is prevalent enough that every parent needs to know the warning signs and what to do if they suspect someone is abusing their child. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls in this country will be sexually abused before the age of 18, but even numbers as heartbreaking as those may not tell the whole story because sexual abuse of minors is frequently underreported. Because adolescents may be afraid or ashamed to speak up, parents, family members, and other adults in their lives have to be able to speak up for them.
In order to be their voice, you need to know what sexual abuse looks like in teenagers. Unfortunately, it is difficult to paint a clear picture because this kind of abuse can result in a range of symptoms and not all abuse survivors experience the same ones. There are a set of symptoms however that are commonly seen and that can provide clues that sexual abuse is or has occurred. These symptoms are often grouped into physical symptoms and behavioral symptoms.
Physical symptoms are not usually present and, with this kind of abuse, may not be noticeable by others. These symptoms can be diagnosed by medical professional in some cases but a lack of physical symptoms does not mean there is no abuse or has not been any abuse. Physical symptoms include:
- Genital and anal findings including torn/missing hymen, abrasions, injury, scarring, and the presence of bodily fluids like semen
- Pregnancy in a child or young teen
- Sexually transmitted disease in a child or young teen
These symptoms include a wide range of behaviors and psychosocial indicators which are grouped into two categories, sexual indicators and non-sexual indicators. Sexual indicators are more predictive, meaning that adolescents that display these indicators have a higher probability of being victims of abuse. It is important to note however that the reliability of these indicators changes at different ages. For example, a sexual indicator that shows up in young child might carry more weight than it would in a teen. Sexual indicators include:
- Adolescents with inappropriate levels of sexual knowledge for their age that is often displayed in unintentional statements, meaning, they are not trying to be shocking or to show that they have this knowledge.
- Sexually explicit drawings
- Acting in a sexual manner towards others in ways that are not age appropriate like sexual aggression towards younger children, inviting sexual interaction with older people, and sexual activity with animals or toys.
- Sexual indicators specific to teens include promiscuity, being sexually victimized by peers, and prostitution.
- Telling someone they have been sexually abused as research shows that most often, adolescents are telling the truth when they make this claim.
Non-sexual indicators are also important because they can indicate sexual abuse but they can also alert parents to other problems. For this reason, it is important to watch for these indicators but to understand that they may signify some kind of trauma and that the trauma may be sexual abuse rather than taken as acceptance that sexual abuse has occurred. Non-sexual indicators specific to teens include:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Self-destructive behavior including cutting, self mutilation, suicidal gestures and attempts, and running away
- Criminal behavior
- Depression, anxiety, and social problems
- Difficulties in school
- Sudden changes in behavior
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
As parents, we always think our children are beautiful. We can see them for the whole person they are and for the potential they have to do great things in the future. Because of this, we may struggle to understand how our teenage daughter, who wears a size 4, can look in the mirror and say that she is fat or that she needs to lose weight. We may feel frustrated that no matter what we say, we cannot seem to influence her opinion of herself. We may worry that her concern with her appearance is unhealthy or that she is at risk for an eating disorder. While we have reason to be worried, it isn’t because this attitude is abnormal.
In truth, the size 4 teen who is worried about being overweight is fairly typical. In our society, one of the ways we define attractiveness is size and there is no question that there are social advantages to being considered attractive. Attractive people tend to be more popular, get better grades, and are more likely to be hired for a job. The pressure to be attractive, especially during the teen years, can be overwhelming. This is likely why research indicates that only two out of every ten girls are happy with the way they look when they look in the mirror. However, even though this attitude might be normal, it doesn’t mean it is healthy.
Unfortunately, the definition of attractive has become so narrow in our culture that it has become virtually unattainable for most of us, especially when it comes to weight and body type. The images held up as examples of the ideal body represent only 5% of the female population. This means that the other 95% of women are striving to become something that is almost impossible to achieve. For teens, this is often where the trouble starts.
Research has shown that when people have a negative body image, it increases their risk factors for unhealthy behaviors like extreme calorie restriction, compulsive exercise, vomiting, and laxative abuse. Additionally, the more people think about their appearance, the more dissatisfied they become. Negative body image can become a vicious cycle that leads to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and other dysfunctional behavior. This is why the size 4 teenager’s attitude may be normal, but it isn’t healthy.
There are a number of factors that influence how we see ourselves. The images of the ideal presented by the media mentioned above are one factor. Another important factor is the messages we get from the other people in our lives like parents and peers specific to ourselves. In some ways, these messages carry more weight than those from the media because of their specificity. It is one thing to feel inadequate in comparison to a movie star or model; it is another to feel inadequate because someone who knows you tells you that you are. For this reason, the most important thing parents can do to boost their teens body image is to monitor the messages they are sending. If you have concerns about your teen’s body image or are concerned that their body image is contributing to other problems, talk to a mental health professional to determine the best course of action.
Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Here is a list of some fun and entertaining things your teen can do this summer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the challenges of summer vacation is that teenagers often find themselves with more time on their hands than sense in their heads. While getting a job and volunteering their time are both great ways for teens to make use of their summer vacation, those options aren’t always available.
Parents who are concerned that teens will get into trouble or go off seeking thrills if they don’t have anything interesting to do should try to address the issue proactively. Rather than waiting until your teen is in trouble or until you notice undesirable changes in their behavior, take the first step and help them come up with fun, interesting, entertaining, and even educational ways for them to spend their summer.
To get you started and give you some ideas, here are 50 of our favorite fun ways for teens to spend their summer vacation.
- Make a movie.
- Make a music video.
- Grow a garden.
- Build a fort for someone smaller.
- Go swimming.
- Plan a picnic.
- Make your own ice cream sandwiches.
- Learn how to cook.
- Learn how to bake.
- Host an all night movie marathon.
- Setup a Frisbee golf league.
- Go for a long bike ride.
- Have a pool party.
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Hold a carwash with your friends and donate the money to charity.
- Go to a museum.
- Teach yourself to draw.
- Go to the library.
- Read one book for each year of your age.
- Volunteer to mentor younger kids.
- Play basketball.
- Babysit for extra spending money.
- Go fishing.
- Learn how to kayak.
- Teach someone else how to swim or ride a bike.
- Learn how to do your own laundry.
- Start your own business.
- Camp out in the backyard.
- Go to a planetarium.
- Go hiking.
- Get some friends to go geocaching with you.
- Host the backyard Olympics for other kids on your block.
- Read to younger children at the library.
- Make your driveway into a drive-in movie theatre for bikes.
- Host a backyard board game championship tournament.
- Have a scavenger hunt.
- Learn a new sport.
- Play baseball.
- Play mini-golf.
- Go on a college visit.
- Have a yard sale.
- Go see a concert.
- Put on your own concert.
- Play tennis.
- Start a band.
- Go bowling.
- Learn how to drive a boat.
- Ride every rollercoaster at the local amusement park.
- Learn how to cook on the grill.
- Make new friends.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
If there is one thing we as a society could do to decrease the incidence of bullying, combat domestic violence, and ensure today’s children will become upstanding compassionate adults, it would be to teach and foster empathy in our children and in each other.
Examples of what happens when empathy is absent are all around us. You need only tune into the news to hear about another senseless act of violence or about one teen doing something terrible to another. Parents, civil, leaders, and mental health practitioners alike are looking for answers to the near-epidemic level of bullying behavior that seems to touch every child’s life in one way or another. Experts struggle to understand why even the most popular, likable, well-adjusted adolescents seem open to participating in behavior previously seen primarily in those who struggled to adhere to social norms. Regardless of the other factors that cause and contribute to these challenges, at the root of each one is a lack of empathy.
What is Empathy?
When you feel empathy for another person, you understand the feelings they are having. By putting yourself in their place, by feeling what they are feeling, you are able to react and respond in ways that are comforting, helpful, and supportive.
For example, you are waiting in line at the grocery store with several other people. The cashier is currently helping a young mother with two small children who are acting out and behaving badly. The woman is struggling to finish her purchase while also keeping track of and trying to placate her two toddlers. How you respond to this situation will vary greatly on the amount of empathy you feel for the woman. If you can imagine what it is like to be her in that moment, to feel the things she is feeling, you are more likely to be patient, understanding, and possibly even offer to help. However, if you cannot empathize with her, you are more likely to be judgmental, more likely to assume she isn’t a good mother since she cannot control her children, and perhaps even tap your foot or make a rude comment aimed at letting her know how much she is inconveniencing you.
The difference in these two reactions shows why empathy and lack of empathy in our teens can be so problematic. If you know how to have empathy for others, you are less likely to participate in behaviors that hurt people because you understand how much that behavior hurts the other person and don’t want to subject them to that pain.
While it is never too late to help someone learn to feel empathy towards others, it is a skill that is best learned in small steps from toddlers to teens and beyond. Most people are born with the capacity to feel empathy, but it isn’t something that happens on its own; it must be taught, modeled, and reinforced throughout a child’s life. If your child seems to be lacking in empathy for others, start by examining your own family dynamics. Children, including teens, learn what they live. If we want them to be caring, understanding, empathetic members of society, we must model that behavior in our own lives.
If you have any questions about how best to foster empathy in your teen, or if we can address any other concerns you may have, please give one of our counselors at Doorways a call. We would love to talk with you and answer any questions you may have.
Monday, January 21st, 2013
Do you know the warning signs to look for if your teen is lonely or depressed? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Parents face many challenges as they guide and usher their teenagers through the final years of adolescence on their way to becoming young adults. One of the most common is knowing when their teen’s behavior is normal and a sign of healthy adaptation and when it is abnormal and requires attention. It is normal for teenagers to spend time away from their families, often secluded in their rooms. For many parents this change in behavior can feel like their child is pulling away, like there is some problem or tension within the family. This can lead to concern about whether or not this alone time is healthy or if it is a sign that their child needs help.
Like most parenting challenges, there is no easy answer or fail-safe guideline that can be used to know the difference. In part, it depends on your child. Some people are more introverted than others, which means that some teens will seek more solitary time than their peers. Other teens may find the demands of socializing and school draining and seek alone time as a way to re-energize and rejuvenate themselves. A teenagers desire to spend time alone is not a cause for concern. In fact, this kind of separation is an important part of their development. But in order to provide for and protect their children, parents need to be able to tell between solitude that signifies healthy development and solitude that signifies danger ahead.
To help understand if your teenager is lonely or just spending time alone, here are the most common healthy reasons teens seek solitude.
Even teenagers who were outgoing as children can experience periods of shyness as teenagers. The teen years bring changes to almost every aspect of life and it is perfectly normal for teens to become fearful of things like saying the wrong thing, looking silly or strange, being rejected by others, or not fitting in with their peers. These types of fears can result in periods of shyness when your teen withdraws and seeks the comfort and safety of solitude. While feeling and acting shy is not cause for parental concern, parents can help their teen through these phases by offering encouragement and support.
Spending Time Alone
Sometimes, we all just need to spend some time by ourselves. Being with other people requires a lot of energy no matter what age you are because you have to consider the other people’s needs, opinions, and feelings while moderating what you say and how you act. This can be draining even if you aren’t a teenager trying to navigate a constantly shifting and completely unforgiving social network while also building the skills to do so. Sometimes, your teenager just needs to not have to worry about anyone else for awhile so they can recharge their own batteries. This is healthy behavior and no cause for concern.
Being an Introvert
As mentioned above, some people, including teenagers, are simply more introverted than others. Introverted teens thrive when they get to spend enough time on their own. They benefit from honoring this side of themselves and the best thing parents can do is be understanding and supportive of their need for this solitary space. However, even introverted teens need social interaction. Creating relationships, connecting with others, and establishing solid communication skills are as essential for introverts as they are for extroverts and teens that isolate themselves in order to avoid these situations may need encouragement in these areas.
Regardless of what may be leading your teen or adolescent to spend time alone, be aware of any signs of depression that may be causing this behavior. Be on the lookout for any of the following signs of depression. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give one of our counselors at Doorways a call.
- Mood changes
- Loss of enjoyment in activities, socializing, and pastimes
- Lack of energy
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Problems with concentration
- Changes in eating habits that includes craving high sugar foods