Teens go through emotional ups and downs all the time. Hormones are changing, life can seem overwhelming, and without much life experience, a young adult can feel misguided. When parents are busy working, or a natural separation from family occurs, teens may turn to friends instead of parents.
Peer support can be helpful for certain issues. But when the symptoms of a mental illness are present, more than a good friend is needed.
The problem is, teens may not understand what the feelings they experience mean. As a parent, it’s important to stay connected so that you notice any changes or any symptoms of a mental illness in your child.
Mental illness includes depression; anxiety; bipolar disorder;schizophrenia; borderline personality disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); attention-deficit disorder (ADD); attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and many more disorders that can interfere with your teen’s daily life.
In an effort to self-medicate — to control the symptoms of the undiagnosed and untreated mental illness — a teen without help may turn to drugs, alcohol, or eating disorders to feel better, to escape, to numb out, or to feel in control.