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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Praus, MSE, LPCC

How do I know if my teen needs counseling?

Updated: May 26, 2020

You may be wondering if your teen should see a counselor. Teenage years are awkward, overwhelming and stressful. Teens experience school, home and social pressures, and this can lead to emotional ups and downs, confusion and mental stress. The following are some of the most common issues that counseling can help with:

Avoidance. Your teen spends more time watching Netflix or TikTok then doing their homework or completing other important tasks.

Procrastination. Your teen is so overwhelmed by their daily responsibilities that they endlessly put them off, often complete things last minute, or spend a lot of time trying to catch up.

Difficulties focusing on tasks. Your adolescent tells you that they can’t concentrate at school or that they have a hard time paying attention during class.

Lack of accountability. Your teenager always has an excuse as to why their homework is late or their grades are low.

Isolation. Your teen avoids spending time with the family and shuts themselves in their room.

Anger and irritability. Your adolescent become easily irritated and frustrated. Sometimes it feels like your teen has mood swings.

Self-defeating statements. Your teenager says mean or negative things about themselves or life. Ex: “I’m not good enough,” “nobody likes me,” “I can’t do anything right,” “I’m going to fail anyways,” and “No one cares about me.”

Anxiety. You teen constantly feels overwhelmed, stressed, worried or afraid. Their worry stops them from doing things, their anxiety makes them seem emotionally out of control (excessive crying or moodiness), or they have racing thoughts that keep them up at night.

Panic. When your teen is anxious they experiences panic-like symptoms including shortness of breath, dizziness, a racing heart, sweating, etc.

Difficulties with sleep. Your adolescent sleeps too much or too little. They stay up late and have difficulties getting out of bed in the morning. They are often napping or state that they are tired.

Lack of friendships. Your teen is having difficulties making or keeping friends and this is causing them to feel lonely, like an outcast, or like they don’t belong.

Peer drama. There always seems to be some sort or drama in your teen’s friend group.

Poor social skills. Your teen has no clue how to make friends or feels awkward in social situations.

Low self-esteem. Your teen seems to have a low sense of self-worth. They are preoccupied with personal problems, are sensitive to criticism, are hostile or display social withdrawal.

Self-destructive behaviors. Your teen engages in drinking, smoking, vaping, drugs, or excessive risking taking.

Suicidal ideations or self-injurious behaviors. Your teenager talks about death, makes statements that indicate they would be better off dead, has told you they feel suicidal or has engaged in self-harm.

If you or your teen notices any of the above signs or behaviors, it’s time for a little extra support from a professional counselor. I have worked with tweens and teens for several years with a broad spectrum of difficulties. Feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to help you or your teen get started!



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