Approximately 1 in 5 teens get clinically depressed each year. Sure, everybody feels sad now and then. But if your teen is sad a lot, struggles in school, does not get along with family and friends, spends too much time on his/her own or on social media – these can be signs of depression. Teens can express their depression through hostile, aggressive, risk-taking behaviors. Such behaviors only lead to more problems, deeper levels of depression and clashes with friends, family, law enforcement or school officials.
Teenage Anxiety and panic attacks
Things like tests, meeting new people, speaking in public, going on a date, and competing in sports can make a teen feel temporarily apprehensive. A teen who suffers from recurrent anxiety can experience difficulties functioning well in different situations and, tend to avoid stressful situations. When anxiety is untreated it snowballs into debilitating panic attacks.
Therapy can provide a safe place for teens to open up about their anxiety, learn healthy ways to deal with stress and dramatically improve confidence and performance in school and relationships with family and friends.
Teen Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors
Teens who struggle with obsessive-compulsive behaviors suffer from recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or rituals (compulsions), which they cannot control. Often it is accompanied with anxiety. Rituals like hand-washing, counting, hair pulling and nail biting are common. Left untreated, obsessions and rituals can consume a large part of their life and affect mood, relationships and general functioning.
When a teen is being picked-on repeatedly by others physically or verbally (including mean texting) it is bullying. It is a serious matter that, if ignored, can have bad consequences. It is not uncommon for a teen to hide the fact that they are bullied out of fear, shame and hopelessness. Parents and peers can feel helpless and ineffective in helping too. In therapy we help to empower the bullied teen and enlist the support of family, friends and school authorities to stop the bullying.
Self-Destructive Behaviors/Suicide Ideation
When teens become moody they can also be irrational and impulsive. Anger and resentment combined with intense guilt can lead to impulsive, self-destructive acts. Teens contemplate suicide when they are depressed and don’t see a way out. Therapy can have a dramatic impact on a troubled teen. It can put them back on track, give them support, direction and renewed hope for a happier, productive life.
Teen Anger Management
Teens (and adults, too!) can explode, yell and curse, throw things and slam doors when they have trouble managing their anger effectively. Oher teens turn their anger inwards, becoming hostile and depressed. In more extreme cases, unresolved angry feelings can lead to violence directed at others or towards the self. In therapy we teach anger management skills for teens and help them recognize anger triggers. We teach safe and effective ways to release anger and healthy ways to communicate feelings and needs.