Adolescent Issues

"Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it.” - Catherynne M. Valente

Adolescent Issues

"Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it.” - Catherynne M. Valente

Everybody that grows up has to be a teenager. It's a time fraught with emotion, every experience taking on immense significance. Each crush, each friendship, each disappointment and each triumph is magnified by the lens of adolescence. As adults, we can look back and remember how every aspect of our life seemed so intense and important. Sometimes the events we thought were remarkable now seem humorous in hindsight. Other times, we wish we could feel those emotions again - how alive and new it all felt.

This intensity of emotion can become unhealthy, however. As teenagers test the limits of control and form their own concept of identity, they can act out in ways that are detrimental to their future. This acting out can lead to substance abuse, an inability to communicate, violence, emotional instability, suicidal thoughts, or previously undiscovered mental health issues. The stress of these behavioral issues can lead to the unraveling of family structure, causing further problems.

At Four Stones Collaborative, we remember what it was like to be a teenager. Our skilled staff can help you and your family work through the challenges of adolescence and provide treatment if necessary. We know how to communicate effectively with adolescents, and we know what types of challenges and issues they face. We can help your family grow closer as you face the teenage years, instead of moving apart. In fact, our founder, Dr. David Henderson, cares so much about helping teenagers that he wrote a book about it! Check it out here - My Teenage Zombie: Resurrecting the Undead Adolescent in Your Home.

girl beneath trees

Teenagers face many of the same mental health issues that adults do, but they often express themselves in different ways. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other types of disorders often first manifest in childhood and adolescence. Adolescents may also encounter problems in the following realms:

Dealing with social dynamics isn't easy at any age, but it's especially difficult when hormones are making everyone a little crazy! Teenagers may experience difficulty concentrating, engaging with friends, or excelling academically to the best of their abilities. A balance between work and play is one factor that many parents often overlook when dealing with adolescents. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the proliferation of digital media can also contribute to academic problems for certain children.

There are many different types of families and a wide variety of children within these families. All families experience stress, and children often feel the brunt of it. Difficulty in a marriage, in particular, can create the potential for a teenager to suffer. Outside help can be crucial in untangling emotions and reopening communication so that relationships can flourish.

Puberty awakens so much of our sexuality as humans, and most adolescents will explore romance and sexuality whenever possible. Intense emotions complicate this exploration. The key is helping teenagers learn in a holistic fashion, and communicating well about the boundaries necessary for healthy human sexuality.

It's difficult for most people to figure out who they are and what type of person they'd like to be. It's especially difficult for teenagers, and while this exploration is often healthy, it can be detrimental when not wisely guided. Issues of self-esteem, identity, spirituality, and social environment all factor into a teenager's development.

The National Institute of Mental Health lists the following signs that your adolescent may need help:

  • Often feels very angry or very worried
  • Can’t sleep or eat
  • Is unable to enjoy pleasurable activities any more
  • Isolates her/himself and avoids social interactions
  • Feels grief for a long time after a loss or death
  • Uses alcohol or drugs
  • Exercises, diets and/or binge-eats obsessively
  • Hurts other people or destroys property
  • Has low or no energy
  • Smokes, drinks, or use drugs
  • Feels like he or she can’t control own  emotions
  • Has thoughts of suicide
  • Harms her/himself, such as cutting or burning her/his skin
  • Thinks his or her mind is controlled or out of control
  • Hears voices

As your child grows, we can help pinpoint potential bottlenecks and issues. We are committed to partnering with you in order to help your adolescent reach a healthy maturity. Through therapy, relationship building, medication if necessary, and education, Four Stones Collaborative is here to provide a blueprint to help your teenager grow into an adult. Remember - we were all teenagers once!

If you or someone you know is struggling with Adolescent Issues