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  • Steffany Murray

Does my teen need therapy?

Poor mental health can negatively affect the quality of everyday life for any individual. Adolescents, aged 10-19, are increasingly susceptible to developing symptoms of anxiety and depression throughout their formative years of growing up. As your child reaches their teens, they juggle multiple responsibilities including school attendance and daily homework, extra-curricular activities, maintenance of friend groups, their first relationships, working their first jobs- the list goes on. Whether it is the occurrence of daily hassles or a stressful life event that has contributed to noticeable mental health challenges in your teen, getting them the help they need can make a life-changing difference in the quality of their daily lives.

What Signs Should I Look for?

Paying attention to personality changes in your teen can indicate if they are experiencing difficulties coping. Have you noticed lately that your teenager has been in a depressed mood or unable to control their emotions? Have they been withdrawing from their favourite activities that usually bring them joy? Has your teen been isolating themselves from family and friends? Have you noticed that they have been eating and/or sleeping less frequently or more frequently than normal? Has their school performance declined and they have developed difficulty concentrating? Has your teenager expressed concerns about unexplainable physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, or muscle tension? If you said “yes” to any of the signs above or suspect that your teen is struggling with their mental health in any capacity, acting on the matter sooner rather than later can prevent the development of more chronic mental health conditions.

How Can I Help My Teenager?

Get curious and ask how they are feeling. Talking about feelings and personal experiences can induce the fears of being judged, being rejected, or being at the center of conflict. Sharing our struggles can naturally leave us feeling vulnerable and it is natural for individuals to avoid doing so. If they are unable to open up about what is troubling them, initiating a talk with your teen about seeing a therapist may provide an opportunity for them to process their symptoms and/or trauma with individualized, therapeutic support. Whether short-term or long-term in nature, therapy works to build helpful thinking patterns and healthy behavioural habits. Therapy for your teen may help restore their personality and their potential to be the best version of themselves.


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