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Drama is often associated with teenagers. They are going through a lot of physical and emotional changes, as they figure out how to become adults.  They tend to have a lot of issues with friends and relationships and become easily upset and have a tendency to over-dramatize disputes with friends and relationship breakups.   They are very sensitive and self-conscious about their appearances, overly concerned about fitting in with peers and actively distancing themselves from parents and other family members by demanding privacy and becoming defensive about friends and activities.  As a result of all of these behaviors, it can be hard to tell when your teen is just being normal or needs your help.  There are, however, some warning signs of what to look for as a signal that your teen needs help.  It is usually a combination of these signs that indicates that your teen could be in trouble.

Extreme Changes in Mood

womens-picture_18Teens are moody.  They are going through puberty and also separating from their parents.  They are going to be a bit distant at times and have hormonal imbalances that cause them to experience some mood swings.  Mood swings can become a cause for concern when they are too extreme and your teen suddenly goes from being very depressed and unable to get out of bed to extremely happy and manic or becomes extremely hostile and angry towards you and others.  These extreme mood shifts could be a sign of psychological issues or drug abuse.

New Set of Friends

A sign of trouble for your teen can be a sudden shift in friends or primary peer group.  If old friends are dumped in favor of a new but questionable set of friends who you are unfamiliar with, it could be a signal that something is off with your teen.  You know you have a real issue when these new friends cause your teen to adopt new behaviors and attitudes.  As teens are highly susceptible to peer pressure, it is important to know who your teen’s friends are and what they are involved in to limit and monitor negative influences.

Drastic Changes in School Performance

If your teen stops being consistent in grades and school performance, it could be a sign of trouble.   A formally good student who suddenly starts to get bad grades and becomes truant is a red flag that your teen is heading down a path that eventually will lead to juvenile delinquency and even a criminal record.  You need to know the reason why your teen starts to decline in academics.   Is your teen getting into drugs, having a problem meeting new requirements, having trouble adjusting to high school, getting bullied or just depressed?  It is important for teens to be involved in positive activities and motivated towards achieving goals.  When they are apathetic towards their school performance, it could be a sign that they need help with something that is troubling them and need inventions on your part to help them get back on the right track.womens-picture_52

Behavioral Changes

Once happy teens that become withdrawn and start to lie could be headed down a dangerous path.  If they start to sell many of their possessions or steal from you, they could be getting into drugs.  If they start to not find enjoyment in once pleasurable activities or have problems concentrating, they could have depression.  If you teen is overly suspicious of others or having extreme anxiety, he/she could have an underlying mental illness that needs to be addressed.

Due to the high rates of teen suicide and drug abuse, it is important to understand that a combination of these warning signs could indicate a problem with your teen and that early detention of these signs could help you get your teen the help she/he needs.

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