Helping Your Teen Get Help
One of the most difficult questions to answer as a parent is does your teenager need outside help? What are the signs that point to mental, emotional, or behavioral breakdown. Where should you go for help? This article should help you as a parent help your teen get the help they need.
First, here are some of the signs that your teenager needs outside help. If your teenager
- Smokes, drinks alcohol or uses drugs.
- Shows a drop in grades or interest in school or extracurricular activities.
- Refuses to solve problems, does not participate in daily activities.
- Acts out in a sexual manner.
- Threatens to run away.
- Acts aggressively. Destroys property or steals things.
- Is depressed and is extremely negative, has difficulty sleeping or eating, and talks of death.
- Threatens themselves or others.
Whether your teenager is experiencing or showing one or more of the above, turn to outside help. These are obstacles you should not attempt to conquer alone. So who should you turn too. Try having a talk with your teenager. Figuring out their feelings may help them recognize their problem and want so solve it with you. Another first option is to go to other family members, teachers, the teenager's physician, or even other adults your teenager admires. They can provide needed advice and direction. Finally there are professionals available to evaluate your teenager and get them the help they need to succeed. These include:
- County health department
- Local mental health associations or medial societies
- Local medical centers or hospitals with psychiatric services
- National professional or advocacy organizations (including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Mental Health Association)
- Psychiatrists- provide evaluations and treatment options for behavioral, emotional, and mental problems. Can also prescribe medication if needed.
- Psychologist- evaluates psychologically with testing and assessments.
- Social Worker - provide psychotherapy options on a more limited basis.
In making an informed decision about getting your teenager outside help, talk with other parents, teachers, or friends as well as ask your physician for recommendations. The national organizations can also help point you in a right direction on where to begin.
Understand that your teenager may not want to get outside help, so it is important to help them see that they need to be scared, defensive or embarrassed about their problem. Talk to you teenager and provide them with the needed information to help them see the importance of getting outside help. With outside help, supplement by your support and love, your teenager can get over their problem and continue living their life.
Does Your Teen Need Help Sources:
- Adolescent Substance Abuse, "Emotional Changes," "Behavioral Changes," and "Where to Seek Help," [online].
- American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Facts for Families, "When To Seek Help For Your Child," [online].
- American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Facts for Families, "Where To Seek Help For Your Child," [online].
- Medem Medical Library, "Children's Mental Health - When to Seek Help," [online].