Is this normal?
Adolescence is a complicated and confusing time for both teens and parents. At times, parents may ask themselves if what their teen is experiencing is “normal” for their age or if there are more threatening issues at play such as clinical depression or anxiety.
At Reflections Creative Therapies, we work with parents and teens to identify if therapy is right for them and to provide education,support and guidance through this difficult time.
How do I know if my teen needs help?
There are a lot of changes going on in the mind and body of a teen. During adolescence, teens are building their independence and learning to separate from parents. They become more responsible for their decisions and behaviors with guidance and support from those around them. When teens are making the transition to adulthood, it can be an emotional time and parents will often wonder if their child needs more help or if it is “just a phase”. If you are seeing your teen crying more often, becoming disengaged with things that used to bring them joy, and isolating from friends or family, it may be an indication that your teen is experiencing depression and could benefit from therapy. Teens with depression may report feeling empty, numb, tired all the time, or hopeless. Although heightened emotions are typical in adolescents, these symptoms can help distinguish “growing pains” from clinical depression.
In addition, anxiety over appearance and performance are often common in adolescence. However, if your teen is struggling with panic attacks, is avoiding situations that make them uncomfortable, or saying that their work is “never good enough”, these may be signs that your child is struggling with anxiety that is interfering with their ability to function in everyday life. Often overwhelming feelings can develop into maladaptive behaviors such as alcohol abuse, self harm, and oppositional behaviors that can be dangerous or life threatening to teens. If your teen is experiencing any of these behaviors, therapy may be indicated.
We have therapists specially trained to provide psychotherapy to adolescents. They will be able to assist you with navigating these years, and provide you with answers to your questions and concerns.