The life of an adolescent is an interesting one. Their bodies and minds go through incredible growth and change. They will also be exposed to many influences and will start thinking about their future.
However, teenagers are vulnerable to a variety of social issues such as addiction and depression. Sometimes the signs of these kinds of issues are not black and white and take careful analyzation and reflection. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from addiction or depression, what steps should you take?
Adolescent depression can often be reflected in their attitude and behavior. Typically, this comprises of behavior that is either unhealthy or rebellious. Some of the typical tell-tale signs of depression include your child having difficulties in school, whether it is grades or social issues. They may also try to run away (which is typically signaling a cry for help), addiction to their smartphone, low self-esteem, and reckless behavior.
Depression is also not always isolated, as they can typically be associated with other mental problems, such as self-injury or eating disorders. In severe cases, the depression can lead your child to have potential suicidal thoughts, of which you should take immediate action. You should always be on the alert if your child makes any references to death, be it in a jovial or serious manner. Do not merely pass it off as it being “in their head”. An alarming number of depressed teens are successfully killing themselves, and there is a cry for help that your child needs answering. Your immediate action could potentially save their life.
Addiction requires immediate intervention. According to a center for addiction therapy near Santa Ynez, people are most likely to start abusing drugs and alcohol during adolescence than at any other time in their lives. Typically, addiction can comprise of your child having specialized hiding places for holding drugs or “holding it for someone else”. If you also suspect that they might be addicted, they may also become defensive and apprehensive. However, replying with their anger can only cause the situation to be exacerbated. You should resolve to remain calm and reach a solution. If you truly do not think to have a discourse with your child is getting anywhere, taking your child to a center for teen addiction therapy may be an option on the table.
The most important thing you can do when setting goals are to make sure they are realistic. You should bear in mind that your child will often deny using drugs or alcohol if you ask them at first. This is because they are fearful of the potential repercussions that come with that behavior. You should set a small goal and small progress towards bigger ones. This would also be an ideal time to set consequences and rules. At the same time, you should listen to your teen, whether or not you think they are lying.
Being honest with teens about drugs is also important because addiction is something that is often denied at first. The longer it is denied, however, the more it can progress to self-destructive behavior, such as reckless driving or violence. Explain that while the temptation is there, it will only lead them down a path of misery, pain, and potentially death.
Depression and addiction are common problems prevalent in the adolescent community. This means there is an underlying issue that has yet to be addressed. Communicate effectively with them, and ensure that you remind them that you will be there for them in their time of need.