Being a Teenager

Have you ever wondered what its like to be a teenager today? As adults we assume we know what it’s like. We are very quick to point out how much harder it was for us etc.

How easily we forget when we were teenagers, and much like today’s teens, we were known to say:

  • “No one understands me”
  • “They dont care”
  • “Im confused over my sexuality”
  • “Will people think I’m odd”, “Is life going to be like this forever?”
  • “Will I have these feelings all my life?”
  • “What will college be like if I dont have friends”
  • “Why am I the only one to have acne”
  • “Why do I have to wear glasses”
  • “Why do I allow others to make fun of me?”
  • “Even if I tell them they wont listen”

Like our parents before us we continually tell them: “its part of growing up” or “look how lucky you are” or “I didnt have what you have at your age”.

The same comments that used to drive us insane and wonder how the older generation ever survived.

To say its part of growing up is easy but to have an understanding of it is what therapy is all about. There are no experts on the subject only guidelines and people to point us in the right way and to give direction.

We were all teenagers but when we reflect we fail or are afraid to look at the statements above. We forget that they did happen and have moulded our values, beliefs, behaviours and thoughts in todays world.

The teenage years are challenging – for both teens and their parents. Teens faces many new pressures and may not always react in the healthiest ways to the problems they encounter. A Lack of knowledge or fear often cause this reaction. In some cases, teens need counselling to help them cope with their problems.

Parents should know and be aware the danger signs to look for and how to find a counsellor if their teen needs one. This is any easy statement to make but often the parent may be going through similar struggles.

Teen Struggles

Some of the struggles teens face are a normal part of growing up, like dealing with peer groups, experimenting with new ideas, and going through changes in body development, mood, identity, and interests. Parents can help their teens through some of these issues by talking to them, being patient with them, and creating an environment that is structured and supportive.

Problems that teens and their parents may both need a counsellors help to handle include:

  • Changes in family life, like moving, divorce, or a death or serious illness in the family
  • The loss of a close friend or girl or boyfriend through death, a break up of the relationship, or moving
  • Developing an illness or disability
  • Any kind of substance abuse or addiction
  • Bullying or abuse
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Tragic events in the community or the world
  • Confusion over sexuality
  • Struggling with study or expectations of others
  • Self esteem or confidence issues
  • Struggling with sport study

While there are some teens that can cope with these events better than others, almost all teens will benefit from talking to a counsellor about them. Sometimes a teen’s behaviour will indicate that there is a serious problem that requires teen therapy. Some of these negative behaviours are…

Suicidal thoughts and behaviours which may include:

  • talking, joking, drawing or writing about suicide or death
  • giving away cherished possessions
  • expressing feelings that they are worthless or that things would be better without them

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call 911 or a suicide hotline or get medical help immediately.

Symptoms of depression, such as:

  • being withdrawn
  • lack of appetite
  • sleeping very little or more than 9 hours per night
  • loss of interest in things they once enjoyed
  • neglecting personal hygiene
  • crying for no reason
  • seeming sad for longer than two weeks
  • Violent behaviour, harming or threatening to harm themselves or others, including animals
  • Suddenly gaining or losing a lot of weight, which could indicate a life-threatening eating disorder
  • Extreme, rapid changes in moods or personality, or drastic changes that last more than six weeks
  • Running away from home
  • Illegal activities
  • Behaviour problems at school
  • Using tobacco, drugs, or alcohol
  • A sudden change in friends
  • Risky sexual behaviour or sexual promiscuity
  • Other risky or dangerous behaviour
  • Noticeable changes in school performance or attendance

Therapeutic Reasons For Women To Consider An Abortion Include:

Teens who exhibit any of these signs should be taken to a counsellor or talked to by parents.

Therapy and counselling is an important part of treating these problems. Individual or family therapy also help teens and parents to have better relationships and helps to:

  • Understand why their behaviours are negative, and how to cope better
  • Recognize and change negative thoughts that may cause or trigger their behaviours
  • Find better ways to solve problems
  • Learn better social skills

Counselling is the first step in regaining the strength and control back in your life if you are a teenager or parent reading this page and are worried about a family member or friend – talk to someone. Get in touch with me

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