Adolescent Mental Health

adolescent mental healthAdolescence can be a difficult and turbulent time for not only the teenager, but for the whole family. The rapid physical development and deep emotional changes taking place mean that it can often be a very challenging time. In addition, there are also social changes that bring about their own difficulties.

Adolescence is the time when young people start to learn about the world and to find their place in it. It can be a very exciting time but can also be experienced as confusing and uncomfortable for the teenager and their parents or family. It is not surprising that, given the changes the teenager is going through and the instability often experienced at this time of life, some emotional difficulties can be experienced. These can include lack of motivation, excessive sleepiness, low mood, persistent over-concern with appearance, low self-esteem, excessive worrying, social anxiety, phobias, panic, as well as many others.

Often these difficulties will resolve with time as well as support from family, peers and teachers. But there may be times where these difficulties don’t shift and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can then be very useful in helping to address them. CBT can help teenagers (and also their families) to recognise and understand unhelpful patterns of thinking and/or behaviour and how these impact on mood and performance. Through the therapy, changes can be made in order to facilitate development of more helpful thinking styles and more useful coping strategies that will allow the young person to develop the resilience they need in order to cope with the challenges of being a teenager.