Are Your Teen’s Moods Something More?

IMG_1584If there’s one thing that teens are known for, it is mood swings. As brains and bodies develop and hormones change, adolescents may exhibit behavior that is impulsive, impolite, and even dangerous. Because of this, it can be challenging for parents to discern whether a child’s “teenage angst” is normal adolescent behavior or the sign of a deeper emotional issue.
Many typical teenage behaviors are similar to symptoms of depression. Teens often withdraw from parents, other family members, and friends that they might have once been close to as they attempt to discover their emerging identities. They may participate in risk-taking behavior as they seek new experiences, or become irritable if they feel that their privacy is being threatened. At what point, then, should you consider seeking help?
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are worried:
● Is my child isolating mainly from family, or has he or she stopped participating in normal social activities as well?
● Does sleeping in mean sleeping until noon on the weekends, or has it stretched into an all day activity?
● Has my child indicated that he or she feels bored, uninterested, or unmotivated by things that once held great interest?
Another tool for checking on your teenager’s mood is the BSAD (Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression), which you can take on their behalf at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.

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