Normal Behavior vs. Concerning Signs from a Teen Therapist

Danielle Blyden
October 20, 2023
min read

It is a known fact that adolescence is a whirlwind of emotions and evolving personalities. Navigating this period can be challenging for both teens and parents. Differentiating between typical teenage behavior and signs of a deeper concern is essential!Understanding Typical Teen BehaviorIn their pursuit of independence, it's normal for teenagers to exhibit changes in behavior. They may become more private, spending increased time alone or with peers. Mood swings, occasional rebelliousness, and a heightened focus on appearance are also common during this phase. These shifts usually don't interfere with a teen’s daily life, academics, or relationships to a large degree.Spotting the Signs of ConcernIdentifying concerning behavior requires intentional observation. If you notice the following signs persisting for weeks or are escalating, it might be time to consider therapy:1. Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness: While it's normal for teens to feel moody or “down in the dumps” occasionally, persistent low mood or lack of energy that interferes with their daily functioning could be a sign of depression.2. Abrupt and intense behavioral changes: Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits, severe mood swings, or a sudden decline in academic performance may indicate underlying issues.3. Withdrawal from social activities: While wanting more privacy is typical, complete withdrawal from friends, family, or activities they once enjoyed can be a red flag.4. Expressions of self-harm or suicidal thoughts: Any indication of self-harming behavior or suicidal ideation demands immediate attention.How therapy can help A skilled therapist can provide a safe space for your teen to express their feelings, equip them with coping mechanisms, and guide them through the journey to improved mental health. At Bloom we call it building up their emotional toolbox. If your teen's behavior is causing you concern, seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Therapy is not a failure on your part as a parent, but rather a proactive step towards your child's wellbeing. You are not alone in this journey - there's help, hope, and healing.

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