Teen Internet Addiction – Should You be Worried?

teen internet addiction

The virtual, or online, world is replete with exciting opportunities and experiences.

The rise of social media sites, online shopping, extensive gaming opportunities, as well as easy and on-the-go access to literally every kind of information, are pushing the boundaries on the kind of influence and hold the virtual world has on different sections of populations.

This includes the vulnerable and experience-seeking teenager who is desperately trying to find their own space and identity.

Why is Internet Addiction Dangerous?

The most vulnerable sections of any society are young children and teenagers. And there is no doubt they are spending increasing amounts of time online. But can the time spent online convert into an addiction?

Consider the fact that today’s teenager has grown up on a steady dose of online content which they can easily consume over various screens. Of which, the smartphone is the most popular choice. The big question then is this – does more online screen time lead to Internet addiction?

While Internet addiction is not a cause of concern for every single teenager. The Internet can become a dangerous place for your teen, especially if the usage is largely unsupervised, for several reasons. Consider the following:

  • Easy availability of drugs online.
  • Easy access to online gaming.
  • Easy access to online porn and other adult content.
  • Easy access to provocative and polarizing online content (political, religious, violent) which are often created to influence young, unsuspecting minds.

Each of these factors can lead a teenager to pick up habits which are addictive in nature and dangerous to their mental and physical health.

Signs of Internet Addiction in Your Teen

As with any form of addiction, Internet addiction displays itself through a few common signs. Watch out for these signs in your teen:

  • Unduly obsessive about the time they spend online each day.
  • The number of hours spent online keeps increasing steadily.
  • Not missing an opportunity to go online.
  • Pushing back bed time to stay online or even staying up all night.
  • Pulls back from social engagement; withdraws from engaging with family and friends.
  • Falling grades, unable to focus on school work, lack of interest in school and learning.
  • Mood/emotional outbursts and signs – irritable, moody, or angry when asked to cut down time spent online.
  • Is convinced online connections/friends are real.
  • Over dependence on online friends and including them in all decisions.
  • Hides or refuses to divulge or share any information about online activities.
  • Becomes depressed if not online.

Who is at Risk?

Social, environmental, family, physical, and emotional factors play a vital role in the development process of a teenager. A problem in any of these areas increases the risk of the teen developing problems or picking up an addiction. Internet addiction is no different.

For example, teens who lack a strong social support system, or are battling depression, or anxiety or any other form of mental/emotional disorder fall in the vulnerable category. If the teen is already addicted to say, drugs or alcohol, again the chances of them becoming addicted to the Internet is higher.

Internet Addiction in Teens – What You Can Do About It

A simple “no” will obviously not work when it comes to dealing with teenagers. However, you can take certain steps to reduce the chance of your teen becoming addicted to the Internet by doing the following:

  • Fix a time limit for Internet usage when it comes to engaging on social sites and for consumption of other social content.
  • Be strict about fixing a time limit on gaming.
  • Make it clear that the Internet is essentially for doing school work and research.
  • Try and keep Internet access to common areas within the home such as the kitchen/dining area, the study, or the family space for easy monitoring.
  • If you notice unusual behavior, speak with your teenager about what could be triggering the behavior.
  • If you feel the time spent online is impacting your teen in other ways, address it as soon as possible – if you are unable to find a solution, consult with a professional.
  • Lastly, closely monitor all online activity – leaving your child unsupervised online can be dangerous.

Overcoming Internet Addiction is Possible – How Doorways Can Help Your Teen

A potent treatment combination of behavioral, family, group counselling, and psychiatric intervention can help your teen overcome their Internet addiction.

At Doorways, our focus is to first gain a comprehensive understanding of the triggers for the addiction, and then to address any of the mental and physical issues a teen might have developed during the course of the addiction.

Overcoming any form of addiction will only happen if the teenager can achieve an emotional, spiritual, and relational/social balance in their lives. This is our big focus area at Doorways.

If you suspect that your teenager is addicted to the Internet, or if you know of a family or friend with a teenager who is struggling with Internet addiction, please direct them to Doorways. We can also be reached at 602-997-2880.

Is Your Teen Being Negatively Influenced by Peer Groups?

is your teen being negatively influenced by peer groups?

As teenagers start exploring the world around them, their contact base will expand beyond their immediate circle of family, friends, and relatives to include another important section known as peer groups.

Peer groups enjoy a certain degree of acceptability based on shared similarities such as gender, community, age, and activity, which makes them a substantially influential group.

If the influence of peer groups is positive, it will lead to positive outcomes. However, if the influence is negative such as encouraging addictions, or substance abuse, or other forms of risky behavior, the implications can be dangerous for your teenager.

Identifying “Peer Groups” in Your Teen’s Life

As a parent it is important you are aware of the kind of ideas and influences your teen is being exposed to on a day-to-day basis. Which is why it is important you identify the peer groups that can influence your teen.

Peers or peer groups are a set of individuals your teen admires or identifies with in some way. These peers or peer groups can be from different places such as school, or at an after-school club or activity, from the neighborhood, or even via social platforms and online forums.

Why do Teens Feel Pressure to “Fit In”?

The need to “fit-in” or be one amongst a crowd can drive teens to succumb to peer pressure. So, a teen who wants the approval of these peer groups will feel pressured to mimic their behaviors and actions.

Bullying could also be a major reason for teens to succumb to peer pressure. In both instances, it is the pressure of conforming to a certain group or expectation which can lead to behavioral changes among teenagers.

Important Signs of Peer Pressure

Teenagers who enjoy healthy and positive relations with their friends and family, are better positioned to deal with peer pressure.

However, teens who are isolated or those who don’t have the buffer of family and friends, tend to be more vulnerable to peer pressure. If your teen is facing peer pressure, there are several signs which will indicate the same. You should be worried if your teen displays one or more of the following:

  • Is irritable or shows signs of depression.
  • Indulges in substance abuse and other forms of addiction (gaming, smoking, drugs, and alcohol).
  • Starts displaying behavioral changes that are out of character.
  • Displays sudden change in belief and attitude.
  • Is overly worried about not “fitting-in.”
  • Is easily influenced to think or act a certain way regardless of the dangers or risks involved.
  • Is easily influenced by “friends” – and as parents, these “friends” make you feel anxious or concerned.
  • Shows little or no interest in school and studies.

If you find it difficult to communicate with your child, are unable to help them deal with peer pressure, or find the above symptoms are getting worse, it is best to seek professional help.

Positive Impact of Peer Pressure on Your Teen

While peer pressure generally carries a negative connotation, this is not the case every time. So, while one set of people might have a negative influence on your teen, another set of people from the same age group or gender, can have a positive influence. As parents, it is easy to get overprotective of your child.

However, if you notice positive changes in your child after they start interacting or associating with a certain peer group, it is important to appreciate and encourage these interactions.

If you notice your teen is more confident, or is pursuing healthy interests and habits, or enjoys a greater sense of belonging which is having an overall positive impact on their thinking and decision making — encourage them!

Don’t be suspicious of every action; getting a tattoo does not necessarily mean your teen is associating with drug addicts or has fallen into bad company. Perhaps it is simply a sign of artistic expression.

Communicate with your teen and support their decisions. If you are against a particular action or idea, explain your reasons for feeling the way you do. Above all, support them so they know they can always depend on you regardless of what transpires in the outside world.

Knowing When to Ask for Help

If your teen enjoys a healthy relationship with their peers, you have nothing to worry about. The only time you should be concerned is when peer pressure starts having a negative impact on your teenager’s life and the choices they make. If you are unable to help, then seeking professional help is the best way forward.

How Doorways Can Help Your Teen

Here at Doorways, we are aware of the trials and pressures teenagers face in their growing years. We also know that each teen has their own way of dealing with these pressures – some find their own path, others need a little help.

Our role as behavioral therapists and professional counselors is to help teens and their families deal with peer pressure in a positive and constructive way and build confidence for all parties involved.

If you suspect your teen is facing peer pressure and needs help, please connect with us at Doorways. We can also be reached at 602-997-2880.

Danger of Substance Abuse Among Teens is Acute and on the Rise

danger of substance abuse among teens is on the rise

Did you know that almost 50% of high school seniors have tried an inhalant or illicit drug at least once in their lives? Here’s another alarming stat – more teenagers die from having abused prescription drugs than those who have used cocaine and heroin.

Neither of these stats read well for teens growing up in today’s world.

As parents and guardians, the responsibility of keeping teens and young adults safe is enormous. And while one can argue that substance abuse has been an issue for past generations of teens and young adults, the challenge today is very different and far more complex than say, even a decade earlier.

Some of these challenges include:

  • Marijuana strains available today are far stronger than those available in the earlier years.
  • An influx and easy availability (online purchase) of designer drugs such as ketamine and synthetic drugs such as Spice.
  • Revival of the heroin culture.
  • Marijuana has been made legal across many states.
  • Increase in abuse of pain medication.
  • Prescription drug and over-the-counter medication abuse on the rise.

The Modern Social and Personal Life of a Teenager is Highly Complex

It is a universally accepted fact that teenage years are difficult. Young teens are under immense pressure to meet certain standards, to “fit-in,” and often, they struggle to find their own space and establish their identity.

The open nature of today’s media, of which social is a big part, is a major contributor to skewed and unrealistic expectations and pressures that today’s teens face in their personal and social lives.

The social life of a teenager today is complicated to say the least. Add to that the fact that their exposure to the world is very different; they are competing and trying to stay relevant not just among their school peers, but also on social platforms.

Many face a lot of negative sentiment and experience bullying not only at school, but also online. Without a strong support structure to back them, many buckle under the pressure of meeting these standards.

The result is that many teens develop a negative impression of their lives. This often cascades into a negative body image, depression, and low self-esteem leading many turning to drugs.

Of course, some teens use drugs to experience a thrill and end up getting addicted. Sometimes substance abuse is a result of their social conditions or surroundings, family history, or abuse.

Why should you be worried?

The danger comes when a teen becomes addicted. Addiction is a medical condition with specific symptoms. Addiction can eventually lead your teen to experience erratic or harmful behavior, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, violent and suicidal tendencies, as well as serious health conditions.

Overcoming Mental Addiction is the Bigger Challenge

Addiction is a medical condition in which the brain craves certain substances, leading to an impulsive and uncontrollable dependence on the substance even though the substance is harmful.

And although someone fighting an addiction problem might be able to control their physical craving for the drug, it is in fighting the mental addiction that they face their biggest challenge. The brain can carry the mental addiction well into adulthood.

The Dangers of Drug Abuse Among Teens

If your teen is addicted to drugs, or even if you suspect your teen might be using illegal substances, the most important thing is to not ignore it. The last thing you should do is dismiss the behavior as a “phase.”

Some of the dangers of substance abuse include:

  • Lower IQ, especially among teens who use marijuana before the age of 18.
  • Developing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, and increased risk of developing schizophrenia.
  • Developing physical health conditions because of impaired growth hormones, brain development, and organ function.
  • Increased tendency to become violent and dangerously aggressive.
  • Inability to maintain and develop relationships or live in established social structures.
  • Sudden and drastic dip in academic performance.
  • High probability of becoming juvenile delinquents.

Treatment for Substance Abuse

Successful treatment for substance abuse involves a combination of behavioral, family, group counselling, and psychiatric intervention.

Our treatment plan takes on a comprehensive approach to help a teen overcome their addiction problem, while also addressing and treating any of the mental and physical conditions the teen might have developed because of the substance abuse.

Finally, we work with the teen to help them develop an emotional, relational, and spiritual balance in their life. This is done with the aim of ensuring the teen can go back to his normal life in the present and to be able to plan and build a future life as well.

We know this arena!

If your teenager is addicted to drugs, or if you know of a loved one who is struggling through substance abuse, please direct them to Doorways. We can also be reached at 602-997-2880.

All in the Family – When Family Counseling is a Good Idea

when is family counseling a good idea?

Family counseling is a form of therapy that is optimized to address specific issues that affect the health and function of a family. It is especially useful when a mental illness or behavioral problem is occurring in a family member who is a teen or young adult. Sometimes such issues cannot be successfully addressed without understanding the dynamics of the entire family unit.

Are There Different Types of Family Counseling?

Family counseling employs techniques and exercises that are also used in other kinds of therapy – behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, individual therapy, and interpersonal therapy. The strategies employed will depend on the specific issues the young person and the family present with.

What is Meant by the Term “Family”?

It should be noted that in family counseling, the term “family” does not necessarily mean that only blood relatives are included in the counseling sessions. In terms of getting the best help, “family” is anyone who is playing a long-term supportive role in the individual’s life.

What Training Does a Family Counselor Have?

Because families are highly complex units that differ greatly, a family counselor is called upon to assume many different roles. Because of the high stakes involved, a family therapist is required to have undergone the right kind of education, and extensive training and testing to ensure that the therapist is up to the task and does not cause more harm than good. To counsel families, therapists must know how to:

  • Understand interactions within the family unit.
  • Evaluate and resolve relationship issues.
  • Diagnose and treat psychological disorders within the context of a family.
  • Guide clients through transitional crises, e.g., divorce or bereavement.
  • Teach replacement of dysfunctional behavior patterns with healthy alternatives.
  • Take a holistic approach to wellness.

What Does Family Therapy Aim to Achieve?

The goal of family therapy is to work together to heal any behavioral, mental, emotional, or psychological issues that are disrupting the family unit. The aim is to produce a healthier family environment for all family members by improving understanding and communication to help solve family problems. While individual counseling concentrates on working with one individual, the family counselor views problems in the context of the “system” of the family. To solve a problem in a system, all parts of the system must be considered.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/family-systems-therapy

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?

The benefits of family therapy are many, and include:

  • A better understanding of family patterns, dynamics and healthy boundaries.
  • Deeper empathy, enhanced communication skills, and improved problem solving.
  • Better anger management skills and reduced conflict.
  • Bringing the family closer together after a crisis.
  • Creating honesty and instilling trust between family members.
  • Reducing sources of tension and stress and developing a more supportive family environment.
  • Resolving conflicts between family members and helping them forgive each other.
  • Bringing members who have been isolated back into the family fold.

A Take Home Message

Family counseling can help you and your family learn how to effectively communicate with each other, work together to solve family problems, and build and maintain healthy family relationships. This type of therapy is unique in that problems are viewed through a broad lens and as part of the complex system that is the family. This perspective allows family counselors to help families get to the root of their problems and facilitates healing for everyone involved.

“Why family therapy…because it deals with family pain.”
Virginia Satir, a key figure in the development of family therapy.

Family Counseling in Phoenix

It’s important to understand that an individual family member’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist in the context of the family and will likely need to be addressed within that context. At Doorways, we help families who are experiencing problems relating to a family member aged 13-25. Our trained family counselors help troubled families to learn how to better communicate with each other in a nonjudgmental, caring, atmosphere. So, if you need help for your family, please reach out to us and schedule an initial no-charge consultation. There is help for your family!

Eating Disorder IOP for Teens -Phoenix Arizona

The Adolescent Eating Disorders IOP is for ages 13-18. It is 3 days per week, a total of 10 hours per week.  Open enrollment, join any time.

If you know anyone who may benefit from either of these specialty programs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 602.997.2880 or email us at IOP@doorwaysarizona.com.

We are also contracted with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Healthcare for our IOP’s. 

Anxiety Disorders/OCD IOP

The Anxiety Disorders/OCD IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) at Doorways is a group therapy program for teens who are struggling with the following issues or symptoms:

  • School avoidance/ refusal
  • Specific phobias (fear of vomiting, fear of spiders/animals, fear of elevators, etc.)
  • Panic attacks, panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

The Anxiety Disorders/OCD Intensive Outpatient Program is held three days per week.

Our IOP groups are contracted with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Healthcare.

For more information about IOP, contact our IOP coordinator at 602-997-2880 or IOP@doorwaysarizona.com.

Here’s a typical session at our Anxiety Disorders/OCD IOP.

The first hour of our IOP is group sharing time. Members share and celebrate their successes and challenges with anxiety since the last group and offer each other feedback.

Then the remainder of the group we engage in fun and creative tasks to help adolescents face their fears.

These serve a purpose in challenging the social anxiety and OCD symptoms that keep adolescents from functioning in their world.We might play a game of charades, lip-syncing contests or practice doing every day activities that they might avoid.

We also go offsite and participate in activities that normally would cause us to feel extreme anxiety, but by doing it as a group in a safe setting, we learn how to overcome those feelings. For example, we recently went to a pumpkin patch and participated in a maze to challenge particular fears. We also go to malls or restaurants and plan social activities.

DBT Skills IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) for Adolescents ages 13-17

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a wide-ranging, evidence-based, cognitive behavioral treatment that has been shown to be a highly effective model for treating an array of disorders and problems. DBT is based on the theory that emotionally sensitive individuals tend to experience negative feelings more often, making it difficult for them to learn appropriate ways to regulate their emotions; this increases their tendency to engage in maladaptive behaviors to manage those negative feelings.  The goals of DBT skills training are to improve emotion regulation, learn mindfulness, strengthen distress tolerance, and increase interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT Skills IOP Group Phoenix AZ

The DBT Skills IOP Program at Doorways is for males and females, ages 13 to 17. It is open enrollment, which means you may join at any time.

This program is designed specifically for adolescents who are struggling with:

  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Self-Harm/Suicidal Ideation
  • Poor emotion regulation
  • Difficulty establishing/maintaining healthy relationships
  • Substance use

We have two DBT Skills IOPs

  • DOOR is Mon, Wed., and Thurs
  • WAYS is Tues,Wed, and Thurs

DBT Skills IOP includes

  • Use of diary cards/daily check-ins
  • Behavior Chain Analysis (BCA)
  • Skills instruction
  • Experiential activities
  • Goal setting
  • Weekly Parent Group and/or Family Group.

Our IOP groups are contracted with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Healthcare.

For more information about the DBT Skills IOP contact our IOP coordinator at 602-997-2880 or IOP@doorwaysarizona.com.

 

Do You Have a Teen with OCD?

Do you have a teen with OCD?

Launched in 2009 by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), OCD Awareness Week takes place annually during the second week in October. OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and OCD Week aims to raise awareness and understanding about this condition so that more sufferers can receive appropriate and effective treatment.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD is a common mental condition. An individual with OCD has constantly recurring thoughts (obsessions) that may lead to behaviors that they have no control over (compulsions). These behaviors will be repeated over and over and the sufferer will be unable to stop. It’s not just about a habit like biting your nails or sometimes thinking negative thoughts. OCD in teens can affect their lives to such an extent that they have trouble living a normal life at home or in school.

What are Examples of OCD Obsessions and Compulsions?

An obsessive individual might be someone who thinks they’ll be unlucky if they don’t put their clothes on in the exact same order every morning. A compulsive habit might be someone washing their hands exactly seven times after touching something dirty. A teen may try to involve family members in their obsessions. For instance, they may insist that their parents and siblings also wash their hands the way they do. Although teens might not want to think or do these things, and may even understand that they don’t make sense, they feel powerless to stop.

How Common is OCD Among Teens?

The International OCD Foundation (IOCD) estimates that approximately twenty teenagers in a large high school may have OCD. Compulsive rituals can be somewhat time-consuming, making teens late for school and activities. When parents try to “reason” a teen out of their compulsive behavior, this results in arguments and tension. Some teens may worry that they’re going crazy and work hard to hide their OCD from others. This prevents them from behaving naturally and causes a great deal of inner stress and exhaustion.

What Causes OCD?

Unfortunately, research has not been able to pinpoint the exact cause or causes of OCD. However, studies have suggested that differences in the brain and genes of those affected may play a role. OCD may result from problems in communication between the front part of the brain and the brain’s deeper structures. These brain structures use a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) called serotonin. What is known is that, in some sufferers, the brain circuitry involved in OCD becomes more normalized with medications that have an effect on serotonin levels (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs). The same effect has been observed in OCD sufferers undergoing cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).

  • Can OCD be Inherited? – It does seem that OCD can run in families. This backs up the contention that genes are likely playing a partial role in the development of the disorder.

Where can I get Help for my Teen with OCD in Phoenix?

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. If your teen (aged thirteen to seventeen) has been diagnosed with OCD, they may benefit from joining a Doorways Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Anxiety Disorders/OCD. A Doorways IOP consists of a small group led by a trained counselor and operates on an open enrollment basis. This means that your teen can be enrolled at any time. We want to help your teen with OCD so contact us for more information.

Setting the Record Straight About ADHD

October is ADHD Awareness Month. As with many awareness months, this one comes with a different theme each year. This year’s theme is Setting the Record Straight, i.e., by sharing the facts and dispelling the myths about ADHD you can do your part to educate others about the issue.

Setting the record straight about ADHD

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a very common condition that is diagnosed mainly in young children and teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016 approximately 3.3 million children in the teenage years were diagnosed with ADHD. For a more comprehensive overview, check out CHADD — a website full of helpful and up to date information about ADHD/ADD.

What are the Symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD is a complex syndrome and how it manifests can differ between individuals. However, the main symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These signs can manifest in different ways:

  • Being easily distracted.
  • Constant forgetfulness.
  • Persistent fidgeting and inability to be still.
  • Difficulty waiting for a turn.
  • Overvaluing immediate versus delayed rewards (delay discounting).

ADHD Myths and Misconceptions

Most of us have heard of ADHD, but we may not be aware of the many myths circulating about it. If you are the parent of a teen or young adult, it’s important to realize that misconceptions about ADHD shape how we think about, react to, and support those who have it or those we suspect may have it. Here are some of the more common myths followed by what is true about ADHD.

  • False: My adolescent is hyper, so they likely have ADHD – Teens are full of energy, and they can sometimes be rowdy. Although hyperactivity is one symptom of ADHD, if unruly behavior is the only symptom exhibited by your adolescent, then it’s best not to jump to the conclusion that they have ADHD.
  • False: My Adolescent has ADHD, so I must be a bad parent – Causes for any kind of mental disorder are difficult to pin down. The general consensus is that ADHD is rooted in brain chemistry. Certain individuals with genes that affect how the brain processes two neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and dopamine may be at an elevated risk for ADHD.
  • False: Teens with ADHD are only affected in school – ADHD and its symptoms aren’t limited to the classroom environment. However, ADHD does have an adverse effect on school performance and academic attainment.
  • False: ADHD affects only boys – ADHD is not limited to boys and it’s just as possible for girls to have it. The symptoms of ADHD are the same in both genders. But because of the persistence of this myth, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.
  • False: Teens with ADHD will eventually outgrow it – Unfortunately, many adolescents diagnosed with ADHD will continue to exhibit symptoms throughout their twenties and on into full adulthood. Without help, they are highly vulnerable to a host of problems – anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse, career difficulties, and troubled personal relationships.
  • False: ADHD medication turns adolescents into “zombies” – The term “drugged” often suggests lethargy and loss of capacity. In fact, the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD typically do not have this effect. And, according to the CDC, between 70 to 80 percent of youngsters with ADHD have fewer symptoms when they take prescribed stimulants.
  • True: ADHD is a real mental disorder – A teen with ADHD has a diagnosable brain disorder. However, an accurate diagnosis will require observations by an ADHD expert of multiple symptoms in different settings and evidence of significant behavioral impairment.
  • True: ADHD diagnosis is on the rise – ADHD is one of the most prevalent psychiatric illnesses among young people. Various studies show that ADHD has been rising over the years, but the increase could be attributed to a tendency for medical professionals to indulge in over-diagnosis.
  • True: ADHD can lead to other disorders – Research suggests that teens with ADHD have an increased chance of developing other types of behavioral disorders and of developing substance abuse.
  • True: ADHD can be treated – Treatment of ADHD has been proven to be beneficial for many teens and young adults. For those with mild forms of ADHD, they can be symptom free after just a few years of treatment. However, others with more serious cases will continue to benefit from life-long treatment that enables them to manage their symptoms successfully.

Treatment for ADHD in Phoenix

If you’re unsure about whether your adolescent or young adult has ADHD, it’s best to have a consultation with a medical professional experienced in assessing ADHD and who can prescribe any necessary medication. Doorways offers therapy and counseling aimed at mitigating the symptoms of ADHD and any associated behavioral issues. We treat individuals in the 13-25 age group, so make an appointment with us for a free consultation.

8 Tips for Helping Your Teen Manage High School

8 tips for helping your teen manage high school

Has your adolescent moved on from middle school to high school? They may have looked forward to moving up a grade with their friends, but they may have also found the transition somewhat daunting and stressful. If some of your teen’s friends from middle school are attending the same high school, this will have made the move easier. However, there will still be a host of students they don’t know, a new school culture, more challenging classes and new social pressures – it’s a lot to cope with. So, here are eight tips on helping new high-schoolers navigate this milestone in their life.

  1. Establish a Consistent Homework Routine

Your teen needs a quiet spot without the distractions of phones, TV, loud music, and video games. While they may claim to be an expert multitasker, able to do homework while also checking their Facebook account, studies show that multitasking is not beneficial to studying. Setting up a regular time to do homework also helps. Encourage them to establish a daily homework agenda. Homework assignments, extracurricular activities and upcoming test dates may be available online so they can look ahead and plan more effectively.

  1. Teach Your Teen to Prioritize

If the high school workload is heavy, teach your teen to prioritize and do the most pressing or difficult homework first. This way, if everything doesn’t get finished, the most important assignments will have been completed. Many high schools post grades online, making it easy to go over grades and assignments every week. Praise should come first as your teen needs to know that you are proud of their successful efforts. After the praise, you can turn the discussion to any missing or late work and what can be done to improve.

  1. Encourage Your Teen to Learn Management Skills

Sometimes a large project may seem overwhelming especially if your teen is not organized and has trouble focusing. Teach them how to break the assignment down into more manageable pieces. You might begin with a brainstorming session one day, doing research the following day, writing a section the next day, and so on. The aim is to make the project seem much more doable. Your high schooler can keep an itemized list of the various steps and check each step off as it gets completed. Each time they put a tick next to a completed item, they will feel a sense of accomplishment and be less stressed about an impending deadline.

  1. Help Your Teen to Think Ahead

Forethought and focus aren’t always adolescent strong suits. Lack of preparation usually leads to disorganized mornings and rushing out the door to catch the school bus on time. More preparation the night before will mean less stress and more time for breakfast the following morning. Before going to bed, encourage thinking ahead. This could include laying out school clothes, packing up homework, and collecting musical instruments and sports equipment in one place. Remember that it can take many repetitions to turn actions into habits. It’s not helpful to nag or roll your eyes at their forgetfulness; it will just make them defensive.

  1. Focus on Ultimate Life Goals

Try to help your teen understand that the point of working hard in high school isn’t just to get good grades. It’s also about building towards a happy, fulfilling future. Encourage them to indulge in visions about their future and talk about the educational steps necessary to achieve their goals. Whatever you do, don’t discourage them by shooting down their dreams. Your student should also be encouraged to try different interests on for size.

  1. Listen to Your Teen’s Problems

Does your teen tell you that they hate school? Just as it’s not a good idea to do their homework for them, it’s best not to immediately supply solutions to any school problems they may be having. Instead, encourage them to think through the issues themselves by asking them what they think caused the problem, what they’ve done so far to deal with it, and what they plan to do next.

  1. Teach Your Teen to Deal with Failure

Failing at something is a necessary part of growing up. You can help your teen to handle failure by talking about your own past struggles and helping them to understand that even when things go badly, there are always other options and new opportunities to improve. Although your sympathy is important, don’t insulate them from all consequences. Teens who are protected from all the pain and anguish of failure are likely to react badly to misfortunes later in life.

  1. Address any Teen Problems Now

Many mental, emotional and physical challenges surface during the high school years. Addressing them when they first appear avoids being overwhelmed by them later when teens may not be able to fulfill educational goals. Many high schoolers with challenges can be helped and go on to become successful throughout high school, college and beyond. If you need professional guidance, Doorways is here for you. We want your teen to be successful, so make a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with us today.