Trouble on the Horizon: Getting Beneath the Surface of What’s Troubling Your Teen
If you’re the parent of a teen, then you have seen them go through several stages of development. At this stage of their life, they are on the brink of adulthood and trying to discover their place in the world. They’re too much of an adult to treat them with “kid gloves” and too much of a child to handle all the responsibilities that come with “adulting.”
The whirlwind of change that teens go through presents challenges for every parent. However, if your adolescent is exhibiting destructive behavior, then they may have problems that are beyond their own control. Treatments options, such as residential programs for troubled youth and medication, have helped many teens overcome their issues. With so many possible issues and courses of action, it is important to understand your teen’s problems before making a decision on how to address them. Continue reading to see how to get beneath the surface of what’s troubling your teen.
Recognizing signs of substance abuse
Substance abuse has been receiving a lot of attention as of late in America (largely because of the opioid epidemic). Obviously, it is no small problem. The number of opioid related deaths in kids and teens have skyrocketed in recent years. In addition, government studies show that most people with substance abuse problems begin using drugs in adolescence and young adulthood.
While it is hard to imagine your child using drugs, ruling out possibilities only cuts down on your ability to find and combat the problem. If your teen is struggling in school, slacking on responsibilities at home, not doing things that they used to enjoy, and avoiding old friends, then prod a little. See what’s going on for yourself.
These signs don’t explicitly point to drug abuse, but they’re an indicator that something is off. If you suspect your teen of using drugs, seek to understand them rather than discipline them. Substance abuse is usually a symptom of a deeper, underlying problem.
Recognizing signs of ADHD
Psychologists are still learning a lot about the condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Those who have undertaken it as a priority of their studies have uncovered some both encouraging and disturbing things about it.
Most people characterize ADHD as an inability to sit still and focus. This is true, but it only touches the surface of this disorder. It has been known to cause behavioral problems that make it hard for sufferers to flourish at school and work. It has been shown to make it difficult for youth and young adults to avoid trouble and connect negative actions with their consequences. People with ADHD are also more likely to abuse drugs than others.
As mentioned before, there have also been some encouraging discoveries made about this disorder, as well. Psychologists have found that teens and adults with ADHD tend to be very intelligent and creative. They also tend to be level-headed, clear decision makers in times of crisis.
With therapy and medicine, many people with this condition go on to flourish in their personal lives and careers. Many of America’s most successful entrepreneurs have ADHD. The key to success for sufferers is to get diagnosed and treated before behavioral problems associated with the condition get them in real trouble.
Depression can be a silent killer if it is not addressed and treated. Many of the symptoms of depression mirror those of substance abuse. It can be the cause or result of drug abuse. Major changes in your child’s eating and sleeping habits are a strong indicator that there is something wrong. They may also become withdrawn from family and friends and curt or unresponsive when engaged by others.
Depression has caused many teens to take their own lives. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults. If you believe that your adolescent is struggling with depression, then getting them the right help may just save their life.
Raising a teen requires a watchful eye. Your child is on the verge of adulthood, and you don’t want them to carry weakening, but preventable, issues into their future with them. If you feel that your teen is struggling with substance abuse, ADHD, depression, or some other disorder, seek help and support them. Be optimistic, discovering what is ailing your child is the only way to find a solution.