Mental health in teenagers is an entirely different challenge than childhood or adult mental health. Not only are teenagers going through the physical changes of puberty - but they are often going through social and emotional changes, too. Not only is it hard to spot the differences between classic teenage behavior and mental health problems, but it can be difficult to talk to a teenager about their mental health during this time of emotional and physical growth. So on this week’s Ask the Doctor LIVE call with Dr. Judy Ho, we focused on teenage mental health.
On this call, Dr. Judy answers the following:
- How can I approach my child about self-harm - and what treatments are available? On top of that, how do I continue to converse with my teenager about this?
- My teenage nephew’s sleep schedule has been all over the place. He sleeps in late, he appears to sleep a lot, and is hard to approach about the issue on top of it. Is this a sign of a mental health issue, or could it lead to a mental health issue?
- What do you think about mental health education classes in high school - and should they be introduced earlier than high school?
- My teenage sister has been very hard to read lately and very aloof. When does typical teenage behavior become a sign of a more serious mental health issue?
- I suspect there may be emotional or even physical abuse in my teenager’s relationship, but she refuses to open up to me about it. How can I talk to them? What can I do?
- How is social media affecting teenage mental health these days? How do clinicians deal with this?
- What are the signs of anorexia in a teenage girl?
- How to talk to my daughter who might have an eating disorder - and what next steps do I take if it turns out there is a problem?
- My brother just entered his teenage years. What are some mood changes I can anticipate that are normal, and on the flip side, what are mood changes I can look out for that might be indicative of a more serious mental health disorder?
- Can acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) be used for children?
Dr. Judy also talks about mental health issues in teenagers in her upcoming book, Stop Self-Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way. This week’s Ask the Doctor call will provide actionable tips on how to talk to your teenager about mental health, and what mental health changes to expect during the teenage years.