Parenting a Teen With Mental Health Issues: A Guide for Parents

April 17, 2018

As a mom, I believe mental health issues in teens is a very hard thing to talk about and deal with. Since it's an issue that can not be seen from the outside we often choose to ignore it or believe it's just a phase our children will grow out of. Let's face it the teen years can be a hard time for both parents and teenagers alike. During these years a child that once believed you hung the moon and stars may start to distance themselves from you in the quest to become their own person. There are many options available now when it comes to your teens' mental health issues including being able to talk to a counsellor online. This is a great option for teens that may feel shy or insecure about the feelings they are having.

During adolescence hormones cause brain and body changes that affect sleep, eating habits, emotions, and also social well-being. Our teens are constantly trying to adjusting to the fluctuations in these hormones. No parent ever wants to see their child struggle and not be able to fix the issue for them. A recent study conducted by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that about 20% of all teens either have or are likely to have a serious mental illness between the ages of 13 and 18. Add to that approximately, 8% of teens meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression. Across the length of adolescence, one in five teens has experienced depression at some point in their teenage years. What's even scarier is these are just among reported cases and do not factor in those that do not seek help. It is common for teens to be moody in short-term, there are some classic warning signs to watch for if you think your teen is suffering from longterm issues. If your teen suffers from a combination of these issues for 2 weeks for more it could be time to seek help.

  • Poor concentration
  • Feeling depressed
  • Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Sleep issues
  • Showing signs of increased anxiety or worry
  • A decline in school grade

Fortunately, depression is a very treatable issue and there is help out there for families. The best way to get help for your child with mental health issues is to talk about what’s going on in a safe, loving environment. Know you are not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is no shame in asking or seeking help from outside sources. By providing a line of open communication with approval and unconditional love and support the healing process can begin. I highly recommend reading "Parents Guide: How To Help Your Teen Cope With Mental Health Issues" by The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake.

1 comment

  1. Lovely tips! It was just like seven wonders of the earth! Very interesting and worth reading.