“Teens who are overwhelmed by stress are often unable—or unwilling—to ask for help,” says Dr. Gregory L. Jantz, psychologist and author of When Your Teenager Becomes… The Stranger in Your House. “It’s up to parents and other adults to recognize when a teen is struggling and intervene.” Jantz offers these tips about what’s normal and when to worry:
- Arguing is normal; constant anger is not. The occasional meltdown is to be expected but a hostile attitude may be a sign of a larger problem.
- Withdrawal from parents is normal; withdrawal from all family and friends is not. Individualization is a normal part of growing up, but if your teen is isolating himself completely, take note.
- Anxiety is normal; feeling overwhelmed is not. Teens have a lot to be anxious about but if stress leads to struggle, seek help.
- An angry reaction is normal; staying angry is not. If something negative happens, a negative reaction could last for a day or two—but any longer and it could indicate a problem.
If you’re concerned that your teen might be depressed, contact your primary care provider.
Visit www.aplaceofhope.com/survey.html for an online survey to determine if you or your teen is showing signs of depression.