Being a teenager can be rough, but altogether too soon we grow up and forget all about the trials and tribulations of this period. Life becomes more serious and we take on more responsibilities, and soon before long the only thing we remember about being a teenager is the fact that we were so seemingly carefree back then. But if life were truly so carefree, why do we now notice a desperate need to know more about adolescent psychology?
Becoming a teenager is a difficult time for anybody. Suddenly you are in the middle of nowhere – you know you are not a child anymore and nobody takes you serious yet as an adult. As you near adulthood you have to face increasingly complicated thoughts, feelings and relationships with other people. Responsibility also starts increasing and often the combined pressures of all these factors cause stress, anxiety and even depression.
Because these feelings are new and you are not certain how to deal with them or what they mean, many teenagers don’t realise they can talk to someone, or they are scared to share this with anyone. The adolescent psychology can then easily interpret this as them being alone with no one who truly cares about them. This gets expressed in anger and oppositional behaviour. While this is a normal developmental process, it is one that needs careful monitoring.
If a teenager mentions feeling depressed or has thoughts that life is not worth living and threatens to end their life it should always be taken seriously. There are a number of warning signs that should be noted, including poor performance in school, withdrawal from friends and isolating themselves, sadness and hopelessness, anger and rage, a lack of concentration and substance abuse.
The problem is that many of these signs also form part of what we consider normal rebellious teenage behaviour. You, however, know your child, and could perhaps tell if they start acting differently than normal. Also, you would much rather want to be over-cautious than sorry when it is too late.
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