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Teen Angst or Mental Health Issue: Tips for Parents

By Genevieve Cunningham

Mental health is an important issue for every person regardless of age, gender, or station in life. But it’s also true that some groups of people may be a little more susceptible to problems than others. One group that often needs special attention to mental health is the teenage population. Teenage angst is normal, but there’s a fine line between normal angst and mental health concerns. To determine the difference and keep the teens in your life healthy and safe, take a look at these signs of a potential problem.

Alcohol and/or Drug Use

Experimentation is normal for teenagers. It’s almost a rite of passage. But when alcohol or drug experimentation becomes habit or gets in the way of life, it’s a more serious problem. If you notice your own teen or a teen you love experimenting too heavily with either, it’s probably time to take action and speak with a professional for help.

Discussions About Suicide

Suicide is scary, but quite prevalent in today’s world. The important thing to remember when it comes to suicide is that if a teenager suggests or threatens suicide, it must be taken seriously. Mentally healthy teens and adults do not consider suicide as an option to problems in life. If they think that this is an option, they need medical attention as soon as possible. Suggest the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255, and take them to a professional to get the counseling and appropriate help to get them healthy.

Personality Changes

Mood swings in teenagers is a completely normal phenomenon. Their hormones are growing and changing rapidly, and this is the perfect recipe for mood swings. But if you notice any significant mood changes that seemingly come out of nowhere, it might be the sign of a mental health issue. Suddenly staying up late or sleeping all the time, anger problems, extreme apathy, and overt disrespect may all signal that this particular teen needs help. Allow for some normal teenage shifting of perspective, but serious personality changes need attention.

The teenage years are a hard part of life. You’re learning and growing quickly, and on top of that, you’re having to learn how to adapt to the world as a budding adult. This is a time when mental health is incredibly important. Look for these signs of a problem in your teen, and always seek help whenever it is needed.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aiken, S.C.

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