Signs Your Teen’s Emotional Wellbeing is Off

Anyone who’s parented a teenager knows that these years are some of the most trying. The dynamics in the relationship between the mother and child starts to shift as your teenager ventures out into the world trying to learn who they are and where they fit in. It is during this time that they opt to spend more time alone or with their friends and less time with mom and dad.

With the social distance between you, it can be difficult to discern when your child is being a “typical teen” or when there’s something really going on. As it’s better to be safe than sorry if you start recognizing the signs to be mentioned below in your teen you may want to discuss getting them help.

Sleep Problems

Does your teenager seem to want to stay in bed all day? Do you find it difficult to wake them up in the morning? Perhaps it’s just the opposite at night. Are they awake all hours of the night? If either of these is happening, it could be a sign of something more. Both anxiety and depression have symptoms that include chronic fatigue or insomnia.

Lowered Self-Esteem

Has your once confident kid suddenly started dimming their light? Do they criticize themselves harshly or frown at complements? Low self-esteem could mean that your teenager is being bullied in school or even suffering from depression.

Social Isolation

Okay, so your teenage daughter may not find it cool to go to the mall with mom but if she suddenly starts turning down invites to go to the mall with her friends, then something could be up. When a person is depressed or emotionally overwhelmed, isolation is often their solution to try and cope. However, not being involved in healthy social relationships and participating in activities they enjoy can lead to mental illness among other health problems.

Substance Abuse

This one may be harder to detect and even harder to accept but teens who suffer from mental illness often turn to substances like drugs and alcohol as a means of coping. You might notice that your prescription pills are missing or there’s less liquor in the bottles. Your teen might start stealing money to get drugs or even change their circle of friends to those who are into substance abuse as well. If you notice any of these signs, there is teen treatment for substance abuse.

Mood Swings

Teens can get pretty moody but if you notice your teenager seems to change moods faster than they change clothes, something is definitely up. Perhaps they’re happy one minute then yelling at their siblings the next. Essentially, they start acting out of character on a regular basis.

Poor Academic Performance

If your teenager started off getting decent grades but suddenly starts failing classes and tests, this is a sign that they’re going through something emotionally. Talk to the teachers about your child’s behavior in class to see if there are any other identifiers they may have noticed that can help you get to the bottom of the issue.

Loss of Appetite

While teenage boys will eat an entire cow if you let them, teenage girls tend to want to watch their figure. That being said, if you notice that your teen continues to skip meals and starts slimming down rapidly, this could be a sign of depression or an eating disorder.


Another sign you would have to pay close attention to discover is self-harm. This is when a teen starts inflicting harm on themselves usually by cutting or burning themselves. You might notice scars on parts of their body that are easy to hide. You may also find blades or lighters around their room.

Reckless Behavior

All teenagers test the limits at some point, but if your once mild-mannered teen suddenly starts partying hard, breaking curfew, acting out in school, and being disobedient at home, this could be a deflection for something bigger.

Some behaviors like sleeping in, moodiness, hanging with friends, and pushing the envelope a bit are common for teenagers. However, if these behaviors remain constant or increase in severity, there is likely something deeper going on with your teen that you need to discuss. Try talking with them about their issues and work together to come up with the best solution to get them back to being happy and healthy.

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