Helping Your Teen Navigate Their Emotional Disorder
With the pressures of today's society, teenagers are up against more than ever. School, friends, family life, thoughts of the future, social media, and more are constantly on their minds, at times becoming more than they can handle. And it's more common than you might think.
One in five teens between the ages of 12-18 is dealing with at least one emotional disorder, according to a 2019 study published by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
If your teenager is struggling with emotional disorders, it can be difficult to know how to help them. It is important to understand the signs of each disorder, how to talk to your teenager about their feelings, and how to help them through this time in their lives.
Here is what you need to know.
Common Emotional Disorders in Teens
Three of the most common emotional disorders that your teenager may be dealing with are anxiety, depression, and social phobias.
Anxiety is characterized by consistent and strong feelings of worry, nervousness, and panic. These feelings can interfere with school, work, and relationships. These feelings can sometimes manifest in physical symptoms like sweating or an increased heartbeat.
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It is a persistent feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that can last for weeks or longer. Depression can make it difficult to concentrate, eat, sleep, and enjoy activities that were once enjoyable.
Social phobias are a type of anxiety characterized by fear and avoidance of social situations. This can include anything from speaking in front of a group to going to a party, to even going to school every day.
Signs Your Teen May Be Struggling
While symptoms vary for each individual, there are some common signs that your teenager may be struggling with an emotional disorder. These could include:
- Withdrawing from friends and activities they once enjoyed.
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Abusing drugs or alcohol.
- Self-harming behaviors.
If you notice any of these signs in your teenager, it is important to talk to them about what they are going through.
Talking to Your Teen About Their Feelings
The most important thing you can do for your teenager is to talk to them about their feelings before they worsen or become life-threatening. Let them know that you are there for them and that you want to help.
It is also important to listen to what they have to say without judgment. Allow them to express how they are feeling and why they are struggling. If your teen is reluctant to speak to you about how they are feeling, they may respond better to speaking to a medical professional.
Getting Help From a Medical Professional
If you are concerned about your teenager's emotional health, it is important to seek help from a medical professional. They will perform an evaluation to determine if your teenager has an emotional disorder and, if so, what the best course of treatment is.
Treatment options vary depending on the individual but may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Seeking professional help is essential in your teen’s road to emotional management and mental health care.
Emotional Disorder Treatment in Houston
No one deserves to suffer from an emotional disorder in silence. If you think your teenager may be struggling, reach out for help today. The Gemini Urgent Care team offers compassionate services to help your teen find a treatment that works for them. Give us a call today at (281) 572-5505 to book your first appointment.