Being a teenager is an exciting time in many teens’ lives, from forming new relationships to identity development. It can also be a time of stressful life transitions, excessive pressure, and many life challenges. Our teens are facing many challenges today and unfortunately, many are struggling to cope with these pressures in a healthy way.
Counseling for teens is a great way to support your child’s mental health, regardless of if you believe they may have a mental health condition or not. Working with a therapist can ensure that your teen has a safe, supportive space to process the complex issues and emotions they might be experiencing. It can also help increase awareness of mental health and increase their coping skills.
Our therapists are experts in working with teens and connecting with them in ways that are authentic, supportive, and kind. If your teen is showing signs of depression or other mental health concerns, reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your family.
Mental Health Challenges in Adolescence
Today’s teenagers face a number of different challenges and issues that can negatively impact their mental health. These problems include:
Exposure to violence in schools and their communities
Hormonal and physical changes
Excessive screen time and use of social media
Bullying, including cyberbullying
Depression and suicide
Drugs and alcohol
Increasing academic pressures
Sexual activity and relationships
Balancing work, school, friends, and family
LGBTQI issues, including gender and sexual orientation identity development
These stressors can lead to a variety of emotional and behavioral concerns, and can sometimes lead to a diagnosable mental health condition. Some common mental health conditions that many teenagers experience include:
Adolescence can also be a time of fluctuating identity development and exploration which a therapist can help work to address, such as processing their relationships with others, sexual orientation, gender identity, or exploring the possibility of pursuing medical gender transition.
Signs of Depression and Other Mental Health Issues in Teens
By having awareness of mental health issues or signs of depression, you can more easily recognize when your teenager might be struggling.
Although individual mental health issues are very different and every teen will experience mental health issues differently, here are some common signs of depression and other signals that your teen might need additional mental health support:
Drastic changes in sleep habits or patterns. Although teenagers generally need to sleep much more than adults (usually about 10 hours), sleeping for much more than that on a regular basis, or a sudden change in the amount of sleep they’re getting, can indicate a mental health issue.
Loss of interest in activities. If your teen is no longer interested in their favorite activities and hasn’t replaced them with new activities, this could be one of the many signs of depression.
Struggling to concentrate. It’s normal to have a little trouble focusing now and again, but if your teen is really struggling to concentrate, this could be a sign of ADHD or an anxiety disorder.
Excessive moodiness and irritability. Every teen will show some moodiness, so a little irritability or changes in mood aren’t causes for concern. However, persistent moodiness could be a sign of depression or other mental health issues.
Changes in school performance. If your child goes from doing well in school to suddenly bringing home C’s and D’s, or even skipping school altogether, this could be a sign of a mental health issue or other problem.
Social isolation. If your teen has stopped spending time with friends and doesn’t seem to have people that they’re close to, this could be a sign of a mental health issue.
Engaging in self-harm or risky behavior. If you believe your teen may be harming themselves physically, whether through cutting themselves, restricting their food intake, or engaging in risky behaviors where they could easily get hurt, this is likely a sign of a mental health issue.
Generally, if your teen seems like they’re not themselves lately, it can be worthwhile to try talking to them about it. Even if it’s not an indicator of a mental health issue, talking to them will help them know that you are there for them as a source of support and care for them.
Talking to Your Teen About Mental Health
Talking to your teen about mental health is a great way to increase their awareness of mental health and ensure that they see you as someone they can turn to when they’re struggling. Talking to your teen about their mental health can also be a great way to broach the topic of going to therapy in a way that feels supportive and affirming.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some conversation starters you can use to talk to your teen:
“I’ve noticed that you haven’t been eating much at dinner and you’re exercising a lot. Is everything okay?”
“You seem so quiet lately and I don’t see your friends come around as much. Did something happen?”
“I noticed that you’ve been sleeping a lot more than usual. What do you think about that? Have you noticed a change in how you’re feeling?”
“I’ve noticed that you haven’t been smiling much recently and it seems like school has made you very stressed out. I want you to know that I love you and I’m here to support you. What would you think about going and talking to a therapist? We could go together or you could go alone, whichever you prefer.”
Where Can I Find Counseling for Teens Near Me?
If you’re wondering “How do I find counseling for teens near me?” Our therapists are here to help. We have specialists who are experienced in working with youth ages 6 to 21 using a variety of interventions to engage and successfully help your child navigate all kinds of issues.
By partnering with a therapist, you can take the first step towards supporting your teen’s mental health and setting them up for success. Reach out to us today to get started.
Our Teen Mental Health Specialists
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30+ years of experience, I have specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy, and Family Focused Therapy.
I work with children, teens and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety. As a clinician, I worked for 20 years in the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Clinic at Western Psychiatric Hospital. As such, I have expert knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Family Focused Therapy, and Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy, Teens, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC
Struggle is something that I believe every single living thing experiences. It is a concept that can bring us into some of our hardest moments in life, but it also presents the opportunity to connect, grow, and learn. I believe that confronting our struggles and working through them is one of the most valuable journeys that life brings.
Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, Grief Counseling, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Teens
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCD
We all have times when we feel like we’re on repeat, stuck, overwhelmed or stressed. I offer a safe and supportive environment to help you make positive changes in your life.
Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Teens
Mary Lynn Hammond
As a Licensed Social Worker with 27+ years of experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families. I have specialized training In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solutions Focused Therapy and Family Systems Therapy.
ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, High Functioning Autism, Self Esteem, Anger Management, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Teens