Today’s teens are faced with many stresses that other generations have not experienced. Often, the demands on teens can be overwhelming. Social media posts can lead to feelings of inadequacy or low self esteem. It may seem as if everyone else is doing better than the teen who’s reading the post. It’s well known that bullying occurs on social media and tragically, teens who are bullied can become desperate and even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Other issues facing a teen today include substance abuse, transgender issues or gender dysphoria, vaping, school pressures, excessive use of texting, Twitter and Instagram, dating or “hook-up” apps and peer pressures.
Anxiety disorders in teens have been on the rise along with depression. It’s important to recognize when your teenager would benefit from professional help. Symptoms, like fatigue and moodiness can be misinterpreted as normal when they may be an indication of depression, Panic disorder and social anxiety have also increased in teens. Self destructive behaviors such as cutting are a sign of anguish and anxiety.
The good news is that individual and group counseling can help. If it is appropriate, medications i.e., antidepressants can significantly improve mood disorders and lessen anxiety.
Teenage years have always been turbulent but today’s teen has more challenges than other generations. There is no substitute for listening, support and understanding.