5 Signs of Teen Mental Illness All Parents Can Spot

5 Signs of Teen Mental Illness All Parents Can Spot

Sign 1: 
Your Teen stops participating in activities they used to enjoy.  This may indicate a sense of worthlessness or hopelessness or a general indication of physical and mental fatigue which can accompany anxiety and depression.

Sign 2: 
Your Teen starts to speak more negatively about themselves, their future and the world around them.  Prominent Psychologist Aaron Beck refers to this as the negative triad – a common sign of depression.

Sign 3: 
Withdrawal from friends and family.  This is a form of isolation.  A teenager who is struggling may stop participating in family activities and outings with friends because they ‘can’t be bothered’, believe they are ‘not good enough to’ or because such activities evoke too much anxiety.

Sign 4: 
Their mood changes.  Of course, we know that teenagers are naturally prone to ups and downs in their mood.  However, a warning sign that your teenager is in trouble is when their mood changes from their ‘normal’ moodiness and you may notice a lower low, higher high, angrier angry and a more fearful fear than usual for them.

Sign 5: 
A Checklist score of 20 or over.  The K10 is a screening tool used by GPs and mental health professionals to determine the likelihood that someone might be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
A score of 20 or over might indicate there is a problem:
In the past 4 weeks, how often:
None of the time (1); A little of the time (2); Some (3); Most (4); All of the time (5)

¨  Did you feel tired out for no good reason?
¨  Did you feel nervous?
¨  Did you feel so nervous that nothing could calm you down?
¨  Did you feel hopeless?
¨  Did you feel restless or fidgety?
¨  Did you feel so restless that you could not sit still?
¨  Did you feel depressed?
¨  Did you feel everything was an effort?
¨  Did you feel so sad that nothing could cheer you up?
¨  Did you feel worthless?

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