Mental Health Awareness: How To Assess Your Struggling Teen- 6 Tips For Parents

Many parents wonder, how do I know if my teen is struggling with mental illness?

If they are it isn’t something to look down upon, but getting help is essential to their wellbeing. Here are 6 signs for parents who may think their teens are struggling should look for.

Does Your Child Suffer Severe Mood Swings That Result In Isolation From Friends And Family?

Teens struggling with mental illness may have a hard time keeping relationships. They may isolate to the “safety of their room”, or just be different when it comes to old patterns, especially with friends and family.

If they are withdrawing from activities that they have always engaged in and are experiencing rapid change in mood or temperament, it may be time to consider that there are underlying issues if you haven’t already.  

Has Your Child Suffered An Extreme Loss Or Traumatic Experience?

Has your family recently experienced a major change like separation or divorce? Has your teen lost a beloved friend or loved one? There are many reasons why PTSD and abandonment issues can form in teens.

They are becoming old enough to be self-aware; of where life has taken them. They can become estranged due to major changes. They may freeze, have emotional or hysterical outbursts, and/or depressive episodes. This also can lead to trouble sleeping.

Do They Show Major Change In Style Or Appearance?

Teens suffering from untreated mental illness might make a drastic change when it comes to their self-presentation. Their wardrobe may turn to black, they may listen to darker music, or they may have a complete change in personality. It may be not very noticeable or the change may be drastic. A lack of hygiene is also a major red flag for parents.

Has Your Teen Been Using Drugs And Alcohol Regularly Or Sneaking Out?

Addiction is sweeping the nation and affecting teens’ lives more than ever. With the introduction of synthetic drugs like fentanyl, teens are having a smaller chance of making it out than ever before.

People forget that addiction and alcoholism aren’t a choice: it’s a disease. Drugs and alcohol are only symptoms of addiction. There is a major difference between usage and addiction, but if you believe your teen is suffering from addiction, have an intervention as soon as humanly possible.

Get them an addiction counselor, into a 12 step program, and make sure they are staying sober. You cannot force your kids to get clean and sober because it has to be a choice they make. An intervention with loved ones, friends, and respected adults who are being affected could save their life.

Is Your Child Having Significant Weight Gain Or Loss?

If you notice your teen is experiencing severe weight gain or weight loss that can be signs of addiction or eating disorders. Make sure they see a psychiatrist and/or their healthcare professional as soon as possible. That might save their life.

Are They Self Harming Or Attempting Suicide?

Many teens across the nation struggle deeply with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. These can lead to suicide attempts and the possibility of the nightmare becoming a reality.  What is the solution?

Getting Them The Help They Need:

Do research on your local psychiatrist and think about putting your teens in an inpatient or outpatient program. Booking an appointment with a PSYCHIATRIST AND THERAPIST can save them. You need to be vigilant and get them help when they show any signs of mental illness.

Many parents do not know the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. The most significant difference is that psychiatrists prescribe medication.

Medication is really not dangerous. They save people’s lives. Talk to their health care professional and do research on mental health specialists like psychiatrists and psychologists in your area.

Video and article coming soon on teens suffering addiction

Teen Suicide Rates In 2020 Are On The Rise. Here’s Why!

Teen suicide rates are on the rise across the nation like never before. With unseen exponential growth in these statistics many are wondering why this is happening. Many people are unaware of the vast severity of this situation.

The “suicidal stereotype” needs to be broken. There is an unofficial socal differentiation between kids who are deemed at risk and who are not. We as a whole need to express this worry for kids of all walks of life. Mental illness doesn’t have a face. We can’t expect there to be blatant warning signs from all kids. 

Lack Of Education On Mental Health

There is a lack of education and understanding of mental health. Stigmas form when it comes to mental illness. This makes kids who are struggling feel singled out and odd. Warning signs arise all over especially in the eyes of high schoolers. The problem is that it is so normal for us. Actions like self harm are judged and looked past. The problem is that these kids need the attention they are seeking in the form of help. 

There truly is a distinguished difference in self-harm between teens truly struggling and who are doing it on the basis of solely attention, but this can develop to a new level. Self-harm for many struggling teens is a euphoria. This is only otherwise is only achieved by use of drugs or alcohol. Many do it as a form of relief rather than trying to catch some sympathy.

In either regard, if you see something, say something. If you yourself are struggling, there are many ways to reach out. If you broke a limb, would you just push off going to the hospital and push through it? Mental illness is no different. 

 Lack of understanding makes people scared to be open. These are the kids who are at the greatest risk. Keeping everything bottled up in fear of judgement, hate, or bullying over the matter leads to many making their plan of action come true. 

Unachievable Social Standards

In society today, there is an unachievable and unreasonable standard for young people that affects their self worth and willingness to live greatly.  Parents are a major player in this. We are classified by fulfilling goals that are not achievable.

With the new revelation of STEM being the only path to success, there is a lack of freedom. Everything we dream of doing is wrong in their eyes. Our society can’t function without individuality. There is no support of differentiation in the modern world.

Parents and schools truly are crushing dreams. They are making unachievable standards for teens to reach. Not every student can achieve straight A’s. Possibly could we consider that mental illness could be a major factor in this?

Degrading children into doing better obviously isn’t working, so why don’t we try a different approach? If you are a parent and your child is struggling, bring them to a psychiatrist. Have your child be open and honest with them and they might end up being sick rather than “lazy” or “stupid” or “not putting in enough effort”. 

Bullying On The Rise

Bullying is on the rise more than ever. According to, 70.6% of young people witness bullying in their schools. We thought that it was getting under control but we were wrong.

Social media is killing us. Between body shaming, racism, sexism, and homophobia along with every other reason under the sun, nobody this day in age feels good enough. It is a constant struggle to maintain an image that we want everyone to see us as. Our generation that is so used to only perfection.

This leads to destroying others self worth in the wake of us just being self-conscious of ourselves. Personally, if you the reader have never experienced some form of bullying or hate in your life then you are 1 in a million. Bullying, especially with the use of social media, now is higher than ever before.

Get The Help You Need

Our generation needs help. Suicide rates are just going to keep skyrocketing if we don’t make change, and it all starts with you. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, self-harm, bullying, or suicidal thoughts, know you are not alone.

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There are many groups to help you through your struggles as well. Know that there is hope and that you will be able to make it through this. Check out “4 Reasons Teen Suicide Rates Are On The Rise” on Itchy Mitchy for more information about this crisis.