How to Look for Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Health Problems in Your Teenage Daughter

Does your child suffer from emotional wellness problems? If so, you are not alone. However, if you think your child suffers from emotional health issues, understand that this is a familiar feeling that affects most parents at one point or another. For this reason, parents must be able to differentiate between typical teenage emotional distress and genuine mental health issues.

The following article gives concerned parents a more clear picture of teenage mental illness to identify whether their child needs immediate professional help. In the next article, we will discuss standard, albeit frustrating, teenage behaviors vs. early warning signs and 

symptoms of emotional health issues. 

Typical Teenage Behavior vs. Early Warning Signs of Emotional Health Problems (AKA Mental Illness) 

As we've already discussed, it is relatively common for parents to at least wonder about their child's behaviors as they become concerned about their child's state of emotional and mental health. As we all know, teenage boys and girls are often moody and hormonal thanks to their going through puberty. This transitional phase of hormonal angst can make it especially difficult for parents to tell if their child is suffering from normal teenage hormones or something more insidious, such as an undiagnosed mental illness or even drug experimentation/addiction. 

For parents to correctly identify or rule out emotional issues such as mental illness or drug addiction in their teenage boy or girl, they must first be aware of warning signs or indicators that may point to a deep-seated, underlying issue within their teen. One of the most viable indicators for parents to look for is in their child's behavioral, day-to-day patterns. 

Typical Teenage Behavior

It is common for teenage girls to become short-tempered and angry easily, especially when they feel they are not getting enough privacy from their parents and family. This, for the most part, is entirely natural and is simply a part of growing up. During this transitional phase, adolescence will begin to separate from their parents as they start to spend an increasing amount of time with their friends and boy/girlfriends incrementally.

During their child's inherently defiant, transitional phase, many parents begin to worry that their son or daughter is spending too many hours on end chatting online with their friends. To the same degree, parents become even more concerned after their child becomes defensive if asked who they are talking to. While this behavior may frustrate and worry parents, they should not be alarmed, for this is entirely natural, adolescent behavior.

What's more - and whether parents like it or not - teens must assert their independence during this emotionally and physically trying time in their life. As they begin to naturally pull away from family and spend more time with their friends or even significant others, they understand that this type of behavior is expected from anyone their age. Conversely, when you see your child uninterested in connecting with peers, you should begin to worry. 

 Suppose you see that your teen is not engaging in other activities or with friends and is chronically disconnected, angry, and sad. In that case, this is when the behavior becomes abnormal and requires immediate, professional intervention. 

Signs of Emotional Issues/Mental Illness

Teens should be relatively active and interested in gaining their independence during their time of adolescence. 

If a teenager was once outgoing, energetic, and determined to gain their independence, but as of late, seems sad, unable to talk to, lethargic, has difficulty sleeping, or isolates him/herself from the rest of the world, it may be time to seek professional help. This kind of dramatic, behavioral about-face is most likely due to them suffering from underlying issues such as an undiagnosed mental illness or drug and or alcohol addiction.

Red Flags for Parents to Watch Out for

Underlying emotional problems that contribute to negative behavioral patterns is essential for parents to identify and identify quickly. Studies prove that the sooner a parent can obtain professional help for their mentally ill child, the easier it will be to overcome their emotional and mental health ailments. 

The following list describes additional mental health "red flags" or behavioral indicators that could point to a mental health issue or possible drug or alcohol addiction. 

Mental Health "Red Flags" Parents Should Be Alert For:

  • Excessive sleeping, beyond usual teenage fatigue, which could indicate depression or substance abuse; difficulty in sleeping, insomnia, and other sleep disorders
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Abandonment or loss of interest in favorite pastimes
  • An unexpected and dramatic decline in academic performance
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite, which could indicate an eating disorder
  • Personality shifts and changes, such as aggressiveness and excess anger that are sharply out of character and could indicate psychological, drug, or sexual problems

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