What do we do when our kids are having mental health problems?
Whatever we do, there are times when they might need a little more help…
Mental Health Treatment Tips for Teens
Most importantly, teens with mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, should know what to do when these specific problems flare up (follow the links for detailed advice):
- extra anxiety – learn to manage anxiety when it attacks with different exercises, like deep breathing, focusing on their five senses, thinking positively for 12 seconds, or laughing at a video they typically find funny, etc.
- extra social anxiety – are there specific social situations that make your anxiety worse during which you will need extra help
- extra sadness – learn grounding and mindfullness skills
- not being able to sleep – teens who have trouble sleeping should learn about progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery
- not being able to get out of bed – call your health care provider if this happens most days and have a plan in case it happens once in a while
- feeling lonely
- wanting to self medicate – see your health care professional if you are turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with stress. Overeating is another negative coping skill to avoid.
- getting more easily distracted – talk to your health care provider, as this can be a sign of worsening anxiety and depression
- getting angry
- coping with a breakup – how can they deal with the heartbreak after a breakup?
- getting bullied – you’re not alone.
- feeling like you want to hurt yourself – teens thinking of hurting themselves should know that they should seek immediate help
Whatever they are going through, it is especially important that your teen knows that things will get better!
Although that often doesn’t seem likely when you are in the middle of a crisis, it is true.
That can be easier to understand once you review these stories of hope and recovery!
What else can you do?
In general, things like keeping a journal, getting daily exercise, and talking to your friends and family members are positive coping skills that can be helpful.
Create healthy habits and avoid spending too much time online.
“We all need a little extra help sometimes. If you are feeling sad, afraid or overwhelmed, talk to someone you trust – whether it is a family member, close friend, therapist, or case manager. It is important to reach out for help if you need it.”Hey Teens! Take Care of Your Mental Health
You can also always talk to your pediatrician or other health care provider.
More on Mental Health Tips for Teens
- Helping Kids Cope With Stress
- What to Do If Your Teen Is Talking About Suicide
- Teen Depression Screening
- Other Treatments for ADHD
- Screening Questionnaires in Pediatrics
- Getting Diagnosed With Autism As an Older Teen Or Young Adult
- Algorithms to Manage Common and Rare Pediatric Conditions
- Hey Teens! Take Care of Your Mental Health
- What People with Mental Illness Want You to Know
- 6 Ways You Can Help a Loved One on Their Healing Journey
- How to Help a Friend with Mental Illness
- Feeling overwhelmed? Read this fact sheet to learn whether it’s stress or anxiety, and what you can do to cope.
- Coping Skills Worksheets
- Stress: The Basics
- Healthy Sleep Habits
- Helping Your Teen Survive a Breakup
- 5 Sleep Tips that Can Help with Depression
- Overcoming Low Self-Worth with Anxiety, Depression and ADHD
- What I Wish Others Hadn’t Said After My Hospitalization
- Raising low self-esteem
Last Updated on February 23, 2021 by Vincent Iannelli, MD
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