What to Do if Your Teen Is Struggling to Get It Together

Last Updated: January 2021

The teenage years can be frustrating for parents and teens alike. It seems to be a hallmark characteristic of teens to forget an assignment, fail a quiz, or fight with a sibling – sometimes all on the same day! 

The trials that teens face are often seen as a rite of passage, but for some teens, there is more going on than what meets the eye. How do you know if your teen is struggling with anxiety, depression or another type of mental illness?

Learn more about mental health issues in teens and how you can help your teen overcome these struggles.

How to Identify the Difference Between Normal Teenage Behavior and Teen Mental Illness

Hormone changes, navigating complex social situations, tackling academic challenges and other adolescent stressors can distress even the most focused teen. However, for many teenagers, life’s challenges go beyond normal events and are caused by mental illness.

In fact, approximately one in five adolescents between the age of 12-17 experience at least one mental health disorder.

Addiction, anxiety, depression and substance use can cause major disruptions and lower the self-esteem of a teen. There are also lesser-known side effects of mental illness, particularly when it comes to addiction, which can cause:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Repetitive movements

These symptoms can often appear to be normal teen behaviors, so it can sometimes be difficult for parents to see the side effects of a disorder.

If you believe your teen is struggling, it may be more than just normal growing pains. It may be the side effects of a mental illness.

Fortunately, many of the symptoms present in teen mental illnesses are treatable with the right mental health care.

Treating Teen Mental Health Issues 

If you suspect your teen is struggling with a mental illness, there is hope. Working closely with a behavioral health care team of clinicians, teens can improve their mental health, self-esteem and well-being this International Boost Self-Esteem Month. Recovery will not occur overnight, but the right treatment can provide results for your child within weeks or months.

Remember that every step towards healing, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.

At Embark Behavioral Health, teens participate in a range of innovative therapies that change the way they think about anxiety, depression or stress while learning new ways to communicate complex emotions. Teens leave one of our 19 programs permanently changed, having learned new skills to manage their own mental health.

Ways to Create Lasting Change When Your Teen Is Struggling to Get It Together

Following any kind of mental health treatment will require a lifetime commitment to practicing coping skills and mental wellness, but with the right family and peer support, it’s possible for your child to stay mentally healthy and well.

At Embark, teenagers will find new ways to cope, new ways of looking at life and ways to maintain their mental health. Treatment in a life-changing program that will help your teen reach their fullest potential, is within reach.

Is your child’s mental health declining? If your teen is struggling, contact Embark to learn more about how we can create lasting change and improve their mental health and wellness.

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Embark Behavioral Health

Embark Behavioral Health

Embark Behavioral Health is a leading network of outpatient centers and residential programs offering premier mental health treatment for preteens, teens, and young adults. Dedicated to its big mission of reversing the trends of teen and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide by 2028, Embark offers a robust continuum of care with different levels of service and programming; has a deep legacy of over 25 years serving youths; works with families to adjust treatment in real time to improve results; treats the entire family using an evidence-supported approach; and offers the highest levels of quality care and safety standards. For more information about Embark or its treatment programs, including virtual services, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), therapeutic day treatment programs, also known as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), residential treatment, and outdoor therapy, visit embarkbh.com.