Your teenager could be in serious trouble, but it’s not always easy to recognize it. Teenagers are masters at hiding their issues and emotions.
If you’re worried your teenager might be in trouble, consider these warning signs:
1. Isolation from friends and family. If your teenager suddenly chooses to be isolated from friends and family, then you may want to ask questions.
* An outgoing teen who suddenly becomes reclusive and avoids others may be hiding trouble. A sudden change in behavior can be a serious warning sign. If you notice this in your teen, it’s important to explore it.
* Your teenager may be hiding in their room more often because they don’t want you to see them using drugs, alcohol, or other substances.
2. Extreme mood swings. It’s normal for teenagers to have mood swings because of changing hormones. However, extreme mood swings that include aggression and violence are warning signs. The teenager may be experiencing serious health issues, drug issues, peer pressure, or other concerns.
* Hormone changes can cause your teen to shift moods quickly. However, these mood swings shouldn’t be scary or overwhelming.
3. Taking unusual risks. Teenagers want to push boundaries and explore their world. However, if your teen starts taking unusual risks that aren’t part of his or her typical behavior, be on the alert.
* Extreme risk taking can be a warning sign your teenager is in trouble. The trouble can range from drug or alcohol abuse to serious peer pressure.
4. Falling grades. If your straight-A student suddenly starts to get failing grades, it’s important to find out why.
* A teenager who suddenly stops paying attention in class or stops doing homework may be in trouble. Teens may earn different grades throughout high school, but sudden and dramatic changes could be warning signs. Your teen may even drop out of school.
5. Strange new friends. Did your teenager stop being friends with their old pals and join a new group? Are you concerned about the new friends and their influence on the teen?
* New friends may be a sign of trouble if they’re pressuring your teen or offering drugs and alcohol. New friends may also be a sign that the teen is simply growing and changing. It’s important to carefully evaluate your teen’s closest friends.
6. Sudden issues with memory. Teens may forget things on occasion, but teenagers who frequently forget everything may be in trouble. This could be a sign of drug and alcohol abuse. It can also be a sign of mental health issues and other physical health issues.
7. Paranoia. Is your teen suddenly suspicious of everything and everyone around them? They may be suffering, but they’re not able to express it.
* Paranoia and suspicion can be signs of mental health issues. They can also accompany drug and alcohol abuse.
8. Destructive behavior. Destructive behavior can range from physically demolishing furniture at home to other issues such as hurting themselves.
* If your teenager starts to hurt animals, family members, friends, or themselves, then it’s time to intervene. They may also try to destroy property and physical items.
* It’s important to take action before the destructive behavior leads to arrests or hospitalizations. The teenager’s actions may even create permanent and lasting damage that hurts others.
Teenagers may try to hide the seriousness of their situation. However, if you learn the warning signs, then it’s easier to recognize that they’re struggling and help them.