Adolescence can be a difficult time with pressures to do well in school, fit in with peers, get along with family members and make some big decisions about the future. This is a time when teenagers are moving away from dependence on parents and moving towards independence. Some manage puberty, transitions and negotiating limits/rules with parents with very little problems. While it is normal for a teenager to experiment with his or her values and ideas, inappropriate or destructive behaviors can be a sign that there is a bigger problem.
What Symptoms Might Suggest That An Adolescent is Struggling?
Agitated, restless or reckless behavior
Drop in grades
Frequent arguments with parents
Defiance regarding rules/limits
Change in peer group
Not caring about people or things
Difficulty making decisions
Use of alcohol or drugs
How Are Adolescent Issues Treated?
When symptoms are interfering with your teenager’s functioning at home or school, it can be helpful to seek services from a professional trained in addressing issues that are specific to this developmental stage. A mental health therapist or psychologist can address problem-solving strategies, coping skills, decision-making skills and teach conflict-resolution to both the adolescent and parent(s). Having someone to talk to that is not emotionally involved in the family can be a big relief to the teenager.