People often joke about teenagers, complaining that they are moody, unreasonable and angst ridden. Most teenagers, despite occasional outbursts and strops, can laugh along. However, for some, the teenage years can be very difficult and, in reality, nothing to laugh about.

Between the ages of 13 and 19, young people are undergoing many changes. It is widely known that these years can be stressful as teens begin to desire independence. It comes as no surprise to parents when they start to face frequent arguments or debates about how late their son or daughter can stay out, what activities are acceptable for someone of their age, and what time is acceptable to wake up in the morning. Emotional outbursts over first relationships, bad hair-cuts, and not being allowed to go to that party that all their friends are going to, are common. These things are all quite normal and can be looked back upon fondly many years later after they have moved out. This is all well and good, but there is potential for problems to arise during teenage years. If overlooked or dismissed as being ‘normal teenaged behaviour’, these problems can be very harmful.

Challenges Faced by Teens

Teenagers face many challenges and issues today. For example, achievement in school, peer pressure, drinking and drugs, problems at home, underage and unprotected sex, underage pregnancy, gangs, bullying, violence, online bullying, cyber-sex, difficulty getting jobs, and being socially accepted. These issues can lead teenagers to develop serious mental health problems. Various pressures about conforming, or pressures to achieve in exams can lead to anxiety issues. Verbal and physical abuse might cause low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. Feelings of hopelessness can arise if the young person feels out of control of their future. These issues can all be very harmful and cause severe problems like depression. Several recent high profile cases in the media have told of teenagers who are bullied either in person or online and have committed suicide as a result. This is quite rare, but, as we can see from media reports, it does happen. If you are concerned that your son or daughter is experiencing unusually complex problems during their teenage years, it is time to find help for them. Equally, if you are a teenager and feel overwhelmed by certain issues in your life, it is very important to speak to someone about them.

Teens and External Relationships

The ways in which teenagers handle their external relationships really depends on the specific problems they are facing. We will explore several possible outcomes. Firstly, if the teenager is experiencing a difficult home-life it is likely that they could start spending more time with their friends, in order to avoid being at home. This might help in the short term, but can lead to further arguments between the teen and their family, damaging relationships. However, if the teenager is experiencing problems at school or among peers such as bullying, they are likely to spend a lot of time in the house but withdraw socially. Teens may feel unable to share or talk about what is happening to them and may act short tempered and irritable. This can affect friendships and familial relationships negatively. The same often goes for online bullying, causing teens to appear preoccupied and distracted. Of course, if teenagers are suffering from anxiety or depression it will also have a significant impact on their external relationships. Parents may not understand that there are other factors in play, and just assume that their child is a very stroppy teenager. This is a concern because parents can grow frustrated and angry at the teen, causing further stress. Teenagers may not fully understand what is happening themselves. Therefore, it is important to seek help to find out if more serious issues are developing.

How Therapy Can Help

Initially, therapy and counseling can help to assess whether a teenager has a more serious psychological health problem. This is crucial for helping in the understanding of emotions and actions. Once this has been established, therapy can provide an impartial and confidential place to share thoughts and feelings. If you are a parent and believe your child needs help, talk to them about the issue, and encourage them to speak to a professional. If you are a teenager and believe you might be developing a mental health problem it is very important to recognise the need to talk to someone. However minor your issue may be, if you are experiencing stress, anxieties, or feeling low, you may need support. Otherwise, problems will grow worse and relationships can be harmed. Do not feel embarrassed or ashamed if you need help; we all do at certain times in our lives. You may need just a few sessions to start feeling better, or you might need longer term support. Either way, if you are talking to a therapist or counselor you are one step closer recovery.

Help Us Improve This Article

Did you find an inaccuracy? We work hard to provide accurate and scientifically reliable information. If you have found an error of any kind, please let us know by sending an email to contact@theravive.com, please reference the article title and the issue you found.

Share Therapedia With Others