Teen Counseling: Does My Child Need It?
Adolescence is one of the most challenging stages in child development and certainly one of the most turbulent phases in life.
While some adolescents go through this transition from childhood to adulthood smoothly, others may struggle beyond the usual teenage instability. Teen counseling in Texas, can be a safe place for your teen to feel supported and start the healing process.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.4 million children and teens in the US aged 3-17 years have been diagnosed with anxiety. At the same time, approximately 1.9 million kids of the same age suffer from depression.
In addition, about 4.5 million 3–17-year-olds have a diagnosed behavioral problem. Closely to 6.1 million kids 2-17 years old have received an ADHD diagnosis.
Adolescence can have significant implications on your child’s adult life. Therefore, addressing teen mental health issues is essential as it increases your child’s chances to grow into a healthy and happy adult.
Signs Your Child Would Benefit from Teen Counseling in Texas
From school problems to painful breakups, all teens experience problems. However, if your child’s distress exceeds their coping skills, it is essential to seek teen counseling. Help from a mental health professional can prevent minor challenges developing into serious mental health issues.
The most common reasons teens go to adolescent therapy involve:
- Mental health problems
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Self-esteem issues
- Relationships with Family and Peers
- Behavior Issues
- Substance abuse
Anxiety in Adolescence
It is not unusual for teenagers to go through feeling-blue phases, feel worried, or experience mood swings. However, sometimes apprehension and moodiness in teens can be red flags of more severe problems.
Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Teens
Reposts show that anxiety disorders among adolescents are on the rise. According to the Child Mind Institute, anxiety is one of the most common mental concerns in children and teens. Namely, one in three teens will develop an anxietydisorder before they turn 18.
Anxiety disorders are more often diagnosed in girls (38 percent) than in boys (26.1 percent).
Teen Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety in children and teens often presents itself through intense feelings of fear and worry that impede an adolescent’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Anxiety disorders in children can include the following symptoms:
- Inability to rest
- Irritability and anger
- Disturbed sleep
- Excessive worry and fear
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulties concentrating
- Avoiding situations or people that cause anxiety
- Headaches, stomachaches, and other aches and pains
- Upset stomach and nausea
- Dread that other people will judge them
Teen Counseling in Texas: Why Is It Important to Address Teen Anxiety?
Adolescents with anxiety disorders are at increased risk of:
- Mood disorders
- Problems at school
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Eating disorders
- Relationship problems
- Body image issues
- Self-esteem problems
- Suicidal thoughts and behavior
Seeking adolescent counseling on time ensures your child receives the proper treatment and support.
Adolescent Therapy for Anxiety
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective talk therapies for treating anxiety in both adolescents and adults.
CBT can help your child understand the underlying issues that trigger fear and worry they experience. It can also help them understand their feelings and identify negative thinking patterns that provoke anxiety.
Once your teen learns to recognize negative thoughts, CBT helps them learn strategies to replace them with more positive ones, consequently alleviating anxiety.
Occasional feelings of sadness, anxiety, and lack of energy are expected in children and teenagers. However, the fact that your child feels hopeless from time to time does not mean they have depression.
Also, developmental depression sometimes occurs due to puberty changes, academic expectations, and peer pressure.
However, bring this up to your child’s doctor if changes in their adolescent thinking, feelings, and behavior begin to cause significant distress and problems at home, school, or relationships.
Depression is one of the most widespread mental illnesses worldwide today. Reports show that about 4-5 percent of adolescents develop depression each year, affecting more girls than boys.
Depression is a complex mental illness that manifests through various emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. In adolescents, depression can be a significant risk factor for suicide – studies show that depression is the second to the third leading cause of death in this age group.
Teen Counseling: How to Recognize Depression in Adolescence
Depression in adolescents more often goes undiagnosed than depression in adults because it often manifests in atypical symptoms. These may include irritability, frequent mood swings, and unexplained physical issues.
In addition, a teen who suffers from depression may perform poorly at school, become aggressive, refuse to attend classes, start using alcohol and substances abuse, or become highly hopeless.
Research has found hopelessness (negative expectations from the future) has a stronger correlation with suicidal intention and suicide than depression.
Depression can vary in severity (mild-moderate-severe), and it covers a variety of emotional, cognitive, physical, and behavioral symptoms.
Emotional Symptoms of Depression
- Feelings of sadness and emptiness
- Emotional fatigue
- Anger and irritability
- Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
- Low self-esteem
- Extreme sensitivity to failure
- Shame and guilt
- Exaggerated self-criticism and self-blame
- Automatic negative thoughts
- Attention difficulties
- Problems focusing
- Trouble making decisions
- Suicidal thoughts
Physical Symptoms of Depression
- Physical fatigue and lack of energy
- Self-harm (cutting, burning, etc.)
- Appetite issues
- Aches and pains without the apparent physical cause
- Hypersomnia (daytime sleepiness)
- Low libido
- Reduced attention to personal hygiene
Behavioral Signs of Depression
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Social withdrawal or anxiety
- Conflicts with family and friends
- Loss of pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
- Poor school performance
Adolescent Therapy for Depression Fort Worth Texas
Teen counseling combined with medication can alleviate depression symptoms and help a teenager develop coping skills more effectively.
Teen counseling in Texas can help as it offers a safe ground for teens to learn to communicate and understand their feelings.
Teen therapy can help your adolescent share their fears and worries, and better understand themselves and their goals.
Different types of psychotherapy for adolescents involve various interventions and techniques. The most effective teen depression treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Group therapy
It is believed that a combination of various psychotherapy approaches or psychotherapy and medication gives the best results in depression treatment.
A combination of psychotherapy and medication can help adolescents understand and resolve the underlying triggers, learn positive coping strategies, and make positive behavior changes while keeping their symptoms under control.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral response to a major traumatic event or a series of traumatic events that add up over time.
Whether a teen experiences it directly or witnesses it, a traumatic event is always terrifying and can cause emotional or physical harm.
Many individuals who survived trauma never develop PTSD or recover from this intense experience. However, some children, teenagers, and adults continue to suffer from PTSD long after a traumatic event is over.
How to Recognize PTSD Symptoms in Teens
A teen with PTSD will commonly experience anxiety and depression. Along with these mental health concerns, your child may be overwhelmed by intrusive upsetting thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares.
Other signs of PTSD in adolescents may involve:
- Uncontrollable fear
- Sudden mood swings
- Irritability or aggression
- Self-destructive behavior
- Problems concentrating
- Emotional withdrawal
- Social anxiety and isolation
- Substance and alcohol abuse
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Eating disorders
- Severe migraines
Teen Counseling in Texas for PTSD
Adolescent therapy can help you, and your teenager understand PTSD and associated mental health issues, which can help start the recovery process. In addition, teen therapy can increase your child’s resilience and help reduce the traumatic event’s effects on their mental health and well-being.
Psychotherapy can be done individually with the child, the family, or a group. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help a teen learn to change negative thoughts and feelings by changing their behavior.
Healthy self-esteem involves a positive self-perception. Adolescents with positive self-esteem feel good about themselves.
Self-esteem is important as it involves self-love and self-compassion that can help your child become independent and confident. Kids with positive self-esteem can recognize and manage their emotions, tolerate frustration, and cope with challenges.
On the other hand, insecure adolescents are prone to self-criticism. They tend to perceive themselves as imperfect or unlovable. Low self-esteem is often associated with anxiety, mood swings, and depression.
Self-esteem and Body Image in Teens
Self-esteem and positive body image are closely related in adolescence. Various changes that a teen’s body goes through in puberty can severely affect your child’s body image. For example, puberty changes can make teenagers feel confused, ashamed, or insecure.
In addition, your child’s body image is strongly impacted by external factors such as peers’ pressures, social media, cultural beauty standards, and more. So, it is normal for teenagers to be conscious of their bodies.
A teen with a healthy body image feels comfortable and happy in their body. On the other hand, an unhealthy body image is often linked to low self-esteem, anxiety, loneliness and isolation, low mood, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
Teen Therapy: How to Improve a Teen’s Self-Esteem?
Teen counseling can help your child develop a healthy body image. Adolescent therapy in Fort Worth Texas can be a safe place for your teen to discuss their body changes openly. It can help them understand that it is normal to feel confused and anxious and encourage them to focus on themselves as a whole person.
Also, teen therapy can help your child develop self-love and self-compassion by teaching them to recognize and reduce negative self-talk.
Relationships with Family and Peers
Teenagers often experience difficulties in relationships within their families or peer groups.
For example, family counseling can help with family conflicts and unhealthy communication patterns. When family members cannot express their needs and feelings, they end up in unhealthy behavior patterns with a lack of communication and ongoing conflicts.
Family therapy allows all family members to be heard, listen to each other and express themselves openly.
Counseling for teens and their families can help:
- Uncover unhelpful patterns that impact family dynamics
- Adress emotions that need to be acknowledged and heard
- Set boundaries
- Improve emotional control
- Enhance empathy
Also, peer problems may be a reason to bring your teen for adolescent therapy in Fort Worth Texas. Peer pressure and conflicts with peers can be a significant source of distress for a teenager.
There is an ongoing pressure to look and behave a certain way, succeed and do well in school and relationships. Also, many teens become victims of peer bullying in person and online.
However, adolescents may find it hard to open up about their peer issues with their parents, so talking to a counselor may feel safer. A skilled teen counselor can help your child work on their problems, teaches them skills for improving social life and relationships, and help them gain control over their life.
Other reasons that bring teenagers to counseling may include:
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Behavioral problems
- Problems at school
- Romantic relationship problems
- Issues related to sexuality, gender identity, and sexual orientation
- Difficulty adjusting to life changes
- Coping with major life events
Adolescence can be a turbulent life stage, leaving your child confused, insecure, and anxious. If you think your teen could benefit from mental health counseling, consider scheduling an appointment with an adolescent therapist.
Sometimes, just a few teen counseling sessions can help improve your child’s mood, mental health, and well-being.
Mental health counseling for teens can help your child change dysfunctional behavioral patterns and teach them skills for managing anger, grief, and other emotional issues.
Teen counseling can provide a greater sense of confidentiality and safety, helping your teen feel supported and accepted.
Finally, teen counseling in Texas can help your teen understand the reasons that led to treatment in the first place, encourage their individuality, and boost self-esteem and confidence.
Ready to schedule an appointment for teen counseling in Texas for your teen? Make an Appointment