Is your teenager struggling with the challenges of adolescence?
Do they need help managing feelings of depression or anxiety?
This is a time of major change and challenge both for you and your teenager. It is also a time when some mental health issues may emerge, which are best treated before they escalate into more serious and chronic conditions.
Our psychologists will work with you and your teenager to help develop effective techniques for managing a range of adolescent issues, including two of the most common issues which are adolescent depression and anxiety.
The onset of depression is often around mid to late teens. It can be difficult to distinguish ‘normal’ adolescent struggles and challenges from depression, especially when adolescents are in the midst of developing their identity and sense of self, establishing new roles in the family, and making important decisions regarding their schooling and future career.
Signs of depression in adolescents may include:
- Lowered self-esteem
- Changes in sleep pattern (more or less sleep than normal)
- Difficulty in controlling emotions (such as anger, irritability, and anxiety)
- Changes in weight and/or appetite
- Reduced energy levels
- Poor concentration and memory
- Reduced enjoyment in activities that used to bring pleasure and enjoyment
- Thoughts of self-harm/suicide
- Sense of hopelessness about the future
It is important to recognise the early warning signs and indicators of depression, to prevent the development of a more serious and long-term depression condition in both adolescence and beyond.
Adolescence can be a very stressful time, which can cause anxiety. Most normal anxiety is short-lived. However, anxiety in adolescence becomes an issue of concern when the feelings of anxiety are consistently intense, last for weeks or months, and get in the way of the teenager being able to get on with their normal life.
Possible signs and indicators of problematic anxiety in teenagers include:
- Always expecting the worse to happen
- Avoiding difficult or new situations
- Withdrawn and socially isolated
- Problems sleeping
- Can’t stop worrying
- Constantly tense and agitated
- Shows physical signs like muscle tension, headaches or stomach aches, or feelings of nausea
As with depression, it is important to identify and address anxiety issues in adolescence early on, so as to prevent the development of more severe and entrenched anxiety symptoms. If left untreated, anxiety can have a profound impact on not just an adolescent’s teen years, but their adult life as well.