While much has been done in recent years to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, many teens still struggle with opening up regarding their emotions and mental wellbeing. These issues can not only do damage to a teen’s self-esteem and health but could actually lead to habits or feelings that can have a deeper impact as they grow up. Here are some things to know about and ways to help your teen address their mental health concerns.
Teenagers fear opening up.
Fear of ridicule and shame prevents teenagers from letting their emotions flow naturally. They may feel as though they have to hide behind a smile or recuse themselves away from social situations. Teens need a safe space where they feel free of judgment. For some, individual therapy sessions have provided a reliable outlet. For others, more aggressive forms of therapy are needed such as intensive outpatient therapy, or IOP.
IOP is a treatment program designed for teens and young adults in need of more support than one weekly therapy session. IOP provides a comprehensive treatment solution that includes group, family, and individual therapy, typically lasting six to ten weeks. The goal of this treatment is to ensure sustainable healing, allowing teens to build healthier communication skills for a stronger future emotionally.
Classwork can weigh heavily on students.
The truth is that even as young children, students are being asked to do more and more in the classroom. Whether it’s an overwhelming number of assignments or deadlines on projects all on a collision course, it’s enough to make a student’s head explode. Add on to that pressure concerns over getting into the school of your dreams and filling out tons of paperwork through college applications.
Teens are hesitant to speak up on the workload and end up burning themselves out from exhaustion. However, college admissions assistance locations across the U.S. have offered a bit of reliance for young adults to turn to. This helping hand in the admissions process helps future college students stay aware of deadlines for personal essays and applications, while also getting them in the know regarding financial aid and scholarships that can help make their dream school a reality.
Social media isn’t helping teens escape.
An overwhelming majority of teens find themselves using at least one social media platform. It’s hard to escape, but it also provides an even narrower realm of safety for young adults. Online bullying continues to run rampant, making teens feel like an outcast beyond the four walls of their school. Hate over sexual orientation, gender identity, and even on the basis of race have sent high school students spiraling into depression or venting their anger against others or themselves.
While there are benefits to what the internet has to offer, stepping away from the screen can do wonders to boost the self-esteem of a student. It’s important to note these are just words from those hiding behind a keyboard. This has helped some teens feel like they can find their inner strengths to overcome blatant falsehoods.
Teens don’t have time for outlets.
With an overwhelming schedule brought on by the school, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and more only build up the stress and anxiety for teenagers. That’s why it’s important for young adults to have an emotional outlet. This can be going for a run, cooking, taking a nap, or any healthy activity that allows teens to shut down their minds and enjoy life.
Having these outlets also avoids teens turning to substance use for a sense of relief, which can lead to deeper issues of addiction down the line that truly inhibit not only their mental health but their overall wellbeing. After all, sometimes the best medication can be joy and finding an activity that makes you feel good about yourself and your talents.