When Is the Right Time to Seek Therapy for Your Teen
Teens these days are facing day to day struggles with stress, grief, bullying, sadness, guilt, shame, feeling overwhelmed about their future, dating drama, gender identity issues, etc. It can be hard as a parent knowing your teen is going through a difficult time.
Parents will always second guess themselves. Between wanting to help and support and wanting to give their kid room to grow. Even though some days they can be scary, moody kids, this is your child and you know them best. Trust your instinct.
Here are some signs that it might be time to seek therapy:
1. Home, school, or community struggles
- Has their behavior changed dramatically?
- Have their grades changed?
- Are they under more stress than usual?
- Are they moody and miserable at home?
- Are they getting in trouble at school?
- Are they avoiding school or cutting school?
2. Change of friends
- Are they no longer hanging out with friends or have they changed friend groups completely?
- Are they avoiding all social functions?
- Are they angry at all their friends?
- Hanging with new friends?
3. Angry and irritable
- Is your teen more irritable?
- Is the anger preventing them from doing daily things?
- Are they at risk of hurting themselves or someone else because of the anger or moodiness?
4. Excessive worry
- Is worry stopping them?
- Is worrying about school and grades so overwhelming they are in tears?
- Are they sleeping much more, much less?
- Always tired?
- Choosing to sleep in the middle of the day or always needs a nap?
- Sleeping instead of doing something they once found fun?
5. Self-destructive behavior
- Excessive risk taking?
- Do they not seem to feel pain?
6. Talking about death
- Are they obsessed with death?
- Is he/she talking about or thinking about hurting himself or someone else? If so, call for help immediately.
If the decision is still not clear, the best way to determine if your teen could benefit from therapy is to ask them. Ask if they think it would be helpful to talk to someone. Your child may know that it’s time. Or maybe they just needed to know it’s an option.