4 signs your teen needs therapy and how you can help

How many times have you overlooked your teen’s behaviour and labelled him/her as a “typical teenager”? 

You might get angry at them, have multiple arguments and think them to be moody and selfish but let’s not forget that they are at a very vulnerable stage right now. Your teenager is undergoing dramatic changes and the least you can do as a parent is to be there for them. 

So, look deeper and give them the attention they deserve. If you notice any sudden changes in their behaviour, be open to the idea of taking them to a professional counsellor. What changes, you ask? Here are 4 signs that indicate your teen needs therapy – 

Severe Mood Swings

One moment they’re being cranky and the very next moment they are laughing uncontrollably – you are used to dealing with your teen’s erratic moods, aren’t you?

However, the more important question is how do you distinguish between a passing “mood swing” and something more serious such as depression?

If you notice rapid mood swings and persistent signs of sadness or anger, your child might be going through depression and should be taken to a therapist who can help them deal with their feelings without getting overwhelmed. 

Self-Destructive Behaviour

Self-destructive behaviour consists of inflicting pain on oneself and stems from a place of anger and helplessness. From resorting to addiction and eating disorders to ruining relations with their loved ones – all of this indicates self-destructive behaviour and needs to be addressed immediately. 

There will be instances when you will be at the receiving end of your teen’s self-destructive behaviour. At such times, do not take it personally and get into an argument as that will only worsen matters. Instead, you need to be calm and let your child know that you are there for them. Seeking therapy helps in identifying the root cause of such behaviour and helps them overcome it in the healthiest possible manner.

Moody teenager

Change in Sleep Pattern

Does your teen struggle to fall asleep or worse still, refuses to get out of bed? It’s common to think that they are stressed or juggling too many things at once but dramatic changes in their sleep pattern is a warning sign that needs to be looked into. 

Disruptions in sleep pattern can indicate depression, stress and anxiety. Take this matter seriously and understand what is bothering them. Encourage them to stick to a healthy sleep routine, put their phones away before going to bed and practice meditation if need be.

Appears Withdrawn

Your teen spends most of his time locked in his room and does not wish to be part of family activities. In fact, he also seems to have distanced himself from things he loved doing at one point of time. It breaks your heart to see your child going farther away while you are left feeling helpless.

This is a difficult situation to be in but instead of getting frustrated, understand that there is a plethora of emotions your child is going through right now. How much ever they try to push you away, make sure you never lose touch. Even if you feel unwelcomed, be there for them. Sometimes even knowing that you’re there can matter a great deal to them even if they don’t show it.

Coming to the terms with the fact that your teenager needs therapy is not easy. However, you must not overlook these signs and turn a blind eye over them. 

This is a tough situation and let’s face it – the only thing that can help is professional counselling. So, have this conversation with your child and explain to them how therapy can help. Your teen needs to know that you are both in it together and that their condition is certainly not the end of the world.

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