During the adolescent years, a person’s brain is rapidly growing and changing. These changes can present a unique set of complications to a child’s emotional and mental development. At this age, young people start to face numerous stressors and expectations from school, home life, and the introduction of a newfound sense of self.
It has been determined that 50% of all lifelong mental illnesses begin by age 14. That means that the symptoms of mental illness can start to make themselves apparent during the teenage years.
Given the inherent difficulties of this stage of development, it can be very difficult to differentiate between normal teenage angst and desire for autonomy, from actual disordered behavior.
You may think that these are typical teenage behaviors at times, and you’d be correct. When these problematic behaviors become habitual it may be time to seek professional help.
Because mental health exists on a spectrum, assessment from a mental health professional can help provide valuable insight into your child and determine whether exhibited behavior is typical or if their behavior is the result of a mental disorder.
Adolescence is an experience that everyone shares and can relate to in some capacity. This doesn’t make the experience any less difficult. Changes in brain chemistry during this stage also bring along physiological changes that can lead to feelings of awkwardness and alienation. On top of these changes, teenagers may also feel pressure to live up to standards determined by their parents, teachers, and society as a whole.
Along with these factors, the newfound prevalence of social media may be to blame for many mental health hardships. It would appear on the outside that everyone on Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter is having the best day ever, all the time.
Of course, we know that this is almost never the case. Separating reality from the deceptive nature of social media can be a lot for a child to process. This pressure is often internalized and can lead to mental health difficulties.
Previous generations have experienced this phenomenon through idealized versions of beauty on television and different forms of media. Still, the ever-present nature of social media has led to increased difficulty in separating fact from fiction. Today’s teens do not only see the impossible beauty standards portrayed by celebrities, but they’re also seeing the curated online personas of their classmates and peers.
Not to mention the unique set of hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented modern life. COVID has led to an increased sense of isolation for everyone, but this can be especially hard on teens. Many schools and services have switched to a completely remote model of communication and teaching that limits or eliminates face-to-face human interaction.
Peer socialization during the adolescent years is very important as it helps children develop the interpersonal skills that they will carry with them through their personal and professional lives. In high school, a child learns the importance of listening to and learning from many different people and personalities. Mental health struggles may make themselves more apparent as we all attempt to navigate isolation and develop a “new normal.”
Interactions with adolescents differ greatly from interactions with adults. Because of this, the approach to the treatment of adolescents facing mental health issues must differ greatly from the treatment of adults facing similar issues.
For example, an adult may notice mental health issues developing and reach out for help on their own. In contrast, teenagers will seldom seek mental health counseling on their own and are often dragged into treatment against their will. This goes along with the natural rebellion that coincides with the desire for self-autonomy.
The team at SUN Delaware is equipped to help teens through their struggles.
The building of rapport between adolescent and counselor is crucial to forming a solid foundation for the success of mental health therapy. Our counselors strive to form an environment where adolescent clients can be honest and open about their feelings and troubles.
We make it clear to your child that we’re here to be a partner in their journey towards mental health and clarity and not a dictator. We believe that positive changes in thinking can only occur when trust is established.
Adolescent therapy is counseling from a certified healthcare professional that helps to identify and address the underlying issues that may cause behavioral difficulties in teens. To achieve this, mental health professionals aim to build trust by stressing honesty and engagement as opposed to dictation. By cultivating an atmosphere of trust, adolescent therapy can help teens build a solid foundation for future success and lasting positive change.
Trust is key when it comes to addressing the unique and delicate issues that your teenager may be experiencing. It is important to pick a therapist that is not only properly accredited but is also equipped with the proper therapeutic skills necessary to assist your child in reaching developmental milestones. Our licensed therapists at SUN Behavioral are here to provide guidance. Please contact us at 302-205-0458 for more information.
Some of the most common issues teenagers and adolescents face may include mood, anxiety, attention, and behavior disorders. The root of many issues may be due to social stressors, isolation, or substance abuse. While these issues are common, they are treatable.
The capable team at SUN Delaware has been serving our community for years. Reach out to begin your journey to recovery.