It is not uncommon for teens to experience psychological ups and downs as they mature. The influx of teenage hormones combined with transitioning out of childhood can lead to emotional outbursts and mood swings that parents may take for granted.
However, teens can also fall victim to mental health conditions that require prompt and professional treatment. These signature behaviors often accompany mental illness in teenagers.
Teens who suffer from mental health conditions often use sleep as an escape from their psychological or emotional distress. In particular, teenagers who are depressed may be so apathetic or sad that they would rather sleep than go about with their normal routines or interact with others.
While it is normal for teenagers to sleep up to eight hours a night, parents should be concerned if their teen sleeps longer than this period of time or if their teen would rather sleep than hang out with friends or enjoy other typical teenage activities. Parents should contact their teens’ pediatrician or doctor if their kids sleep longer than normal.
Drastic Personality Changes
Kids develop their own unique personalities during teenagehood. However, when teens exhibit behaviors like extreme anger, sadness, depression, or anxiety, it may be time to have them evaluated for mental health conditions.
These extreme emotions could indicate that they are suffering from bipolar disorder or even schizophrenia. These conditions and other teen mental health disorders are treatable as long as they receive professional medical attention.
Most teens love to hang out with friends, go to parties, or even chat with friends and schoolmates online or via text. When they start to prefer to be left alone than interact with friends or spend time with their household family members, it is time for parents to have them evaluated by a mental health professional.
Excessive isolation often underlies disorders like depression, apathy, or anxiety. With proper counseling and medication, teens can once again find enjoyment in socializing with others.
Abandonment of Activities
Teenagehood is the time when most kids participate in sports, clubs, and other activities both in and out of school. When teens abandon activities that they once took pride in and found enjoyable, however, they may be suffering from a mental health disorder.
It is normal for teens to change what they like to do or even quit one club in favor of another. However, when they refuse to participate in activities that they once loved or would rather be left alone at home than participate in activities even only occasionally, they may need to be seen and treated for mental health disorders.
Excessive Changes in Diet
It is not uncommon for teens to develop different preferences for what they will and will not eat or even how often they will eat during a typical day. When parents notice, however, that their teens are refusing to eat altogether or purging their food after meals, they should immediately have their teenagers evaluated for mental health disorders like bulimia or anorexia.
These conditions can cause long-term damage to kids’ health. Fortunately, both disorders are treatable if they are diagnosed promptly and correctly.
Teens can suffer from psychological and emotional distresses just like adults. Parents should act quickly if they notice their teens showing these behaviors.