Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

A friend once asked me about his son, who was about to turn 20. As a teenager, the boy had a quick temper. His dad assumed that his short fuse was related to that awkward stage of life. But now, on the brink of adulthood, the young man seemed to be getting worse. He’d been less able to deal with criticism, minor upsets, jokes, or comments contrary to his point of view.

The young man’s father didn’t know if his son’s behavior was normal, or if it was a sign of depression or other problem. He also wanted to know how to talk with his son about his anger or bring him to Family Counseling San Diego for an assessment.

To understand this situation, it helps to put yourself in a 19-year-old’s shoes. Still inexperienced, there are big challenges ahead: graduating from high school, entering the work force (in a tough economy) or starting college, living away from home for the first time. These are stressful transitions for anyone.

But when a teen gets angrier as time goes by — or more rigid and defensive — it is a cause for concern. At the very least, this is not a very adaptive response to life’s challenges and it can make every day tougher than it needs to be. Whether it’s depression or just anger is probably less important than the fact that the teen is suffering and could use some help we have multiple male and female counselors to help at Family Counseling San Diego.

On the Cusp of Adulthood – Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

A 19-year-old is no longer a child, but neither is he or she a fully-fledged adult. This in-between state, which may be more apparent in wealthy countries, can extend well into the twenties. Some human development researchers have begun to call it “emerging adulthood.” In theory, it is a time of life when a person takes life’s possibilities more seriously. Emerging adults know that responsible choices matter. But they are still young enough that they aren’t ready to make lasting commitments.

People are reaching the usual adult milestones — financial independence or getting married and having children — later and later. It’s not clear if the trends are a natural part of human development or a product of the social and economic changes in our communities.

No matter what we call this stage, it presents a tricky time for parents and their children. Emerging adults must decide how much help they want or are willing to accept from their parents or anyone else. At the same time, parents must decide how much help is reasonable to give.

Taking a step back does not mean abandoning your child. By the time a child hits young adulthood, the goal is to replace direct help with encouragement about (and belief in) your child’s ability to manage these responsibilities on his own. And that can spur the process of maturing.

Understanding Anger

Teenager Angry Maybe DepressionThe origins of anger, and other feelings, vary from person to person. Anger could be a sign of depression or substance abuse (the National Institute on Drug Abuse has useful information about this, and advice about talking with a child about it.) It could be a manifestation of anxiety about “making it” in the grown-up world. It could signal some crisis, like trouble in a relationship.

It’s also possible that it’s just you. It is very common for children of any age, but especially teenagers, to be intolerant of parents’ input, whether it is constructive criticism, helpful advice, or being playful. It is even worse when your in the military moving around the country, Mr. Walter Patrick Martin, LMFT works locally with San Diego City Schools during the day one of the High Schools providing Military Family Life Counseling. He states it is an honor and enjoys every moment working with the teenagers at the school site in addition he is also a Star Behavioral Health Provider.

Make time to Talk

I advised my friend that he should calmly get this message to his son: He was taking his son’s problems seriously, and his son owed it to himself to take the problems seriously, too. I wanted my friend to remind his son in a loving way that he was becoming responsible for his own life, that he respected his son, and trusted his son’s ability to manage whatever problems came up.

Here are some different ways to start that discussion:

“You are your own person. I only get to see how you interact with me. Perhaps you are quite happy when I’m not around, but from my perspective you seem very unhappy.”
“You don’t have to talk to me about it. If you’re managing things on your own, I respect that. But if you are unhappy and you don’t want to talk to me about it, there are plenty of other people you could talk to.”
“You may not be interested in help right now, but I’ll always be willing to help you, or help you find someone other than me to help you, if and when you want it.”
Teenager Angry Maybe Depression Family San DiegoYour child may respond with anger. When you’re working hard to be helpful, and you’re met with hostility, it’s tempting to strike back. Resist that impulse. Your child may take the advice to heart and get help. But there is no guarantee he or she will report back. Or say thanks.

At least not right away. But if the growing up process takes hold, my friend might someday hear something like this from his son: “Hey, Dad. Remember a few years ago when I was being such a pain? Thanks for putting up with me.

(This article is adapted from a longer version written for InteliHealth.com.) Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

Teenager Help Cutting Addiction

Teenage Depression Cutting San DiegoTeenager Help Cutting Addiction

Did you know that there are website/blogs on “wants to cut yourself”. It’s important to note that self-injury is rarely life threatening. However, because of the revulsion many people feel about it, many therapist have an appropriate response. That said, it doesn’t matter how severe or minor the physical injuries are. It’s what’s going on inside that matters. Cutting, also known as self-injury or self-mutilation is the practice of manipulating a mood or emotional state by inflicting physical harm on a person’s own body. EMDR within 8 sessions a teenager will begin a new outlook on life and have a chance to change the behavior now. All the teenager needs is the desire to want to change.

What is the Payoff of Cutting?

Self-injury releases tension – both physiological and psychological – very quickly. A person who cuts can turn a state of overwhelm into a state of relative calm almost immediately. Cutting reduces panic to simply feeling bad.

Self Harm = Self Love (Cutting Addiction Begins)

It is a destructive coping skill like many others in our society – drinking, anorexia, or working too much. It does not mean the person is crazy, or that they are attempting suicide. Get EMDR started today to help gain a new outlook.  In fact, the self-injury may relieve tension to the point that the person no longer considers suicide.

Why Do Kids Cut Themselves?

Cutting also gives the child a great sense of control. Some kids do it as a form of self-punishment, but this isn’t always the case. Many cutters use it to express feelings that there are no words for. It also follows the addiction cycle.

Cutting is not done, as frequently believed, to “fit in” or to garner attention. Many teens will go to great lengths to hide the effects of the behavior in an attempt to avoid adding shame to their already fragile mental state.

One common denominator in kids who cut themselves is an inability to express their feelings. They either never learned how to do it or were invalidated when they tried. They have gotten the idea, possibly from an abusive home life though not always, that certain feelings are wrong and not to be articulated. They may have not had a role model for coping with troubling situations in a healthy way.

Some kids are predisposed toward this kind of behavior and it may take very little to set it off. Serotonin may be involved in making some kids more aggressive and impulsive than others, therefore more likely to self-mutilate. EMDR brakes the addiction to cutting. Once a kid tries the behavior and realizes the immense stress relief it provides, it may seem like a good idea for the next time the child is under stress.

Traumatized youth often display behaviors associated with PTSD or begin to self medicate with drugs. They may have changes in their sleep patterns: trouble falling asleep, interrupted sleep, restlessness, nightmares, not wanting to sleep in their own beds, or bed-wetting. Children may act out their trauma in their play with their action figures, dolls, or stuffed animals. Some become irritable, and overreact to situations, while others are numb, under react and have an “I don’t care” attitude. Hyper vigilance can be observed in some children. They lose the ability to discern between normal and dangerous situations and can misinterpret social cues, making relationships difficult. This also can be problematic in school as these children are constantly scanning their environment for danger which effects their concentration and attention. Learning issues are common in abused and neglected children. Current research also indicates that chronic traumatization can affect brain functioning leading to problems in regulating emotions and behavior, difficulties in attachment, problems with self soothing, and self injury. For many children the trauma is influencing current actions and their bodies react without the mind understanding why. They can exhibit anger, aggression, defiance, impulsiveness, and resistance. Teachers, case workers, foster parents, and parents often interpret this behavior as oppositional, attention seeking, or uncooperative. Adults misguidedly respond to the behavior with behavioral consequences that do not always work, instead of resolving the trauma. The child is unable to respond logically as the emotional part of the brain is active, and the thinking rational part of the brain is not accessible.

When to Seek Professional Help

Children, from infants to adolescents, are exposed to trauma as anything non nurturing is traumatic to a child. As the child develops and has difficulty developing interpersonal relationships depression in the form of anger and rage can develop. This is when you hear your teenager or pre-teen make statements like “I want to die.” Overall this teen or pre-teen has begun to go down the rabbit hole of negative thought patterns. This leads to cutting behavior and/or addictive behaviors toward substances. It is time to have a professional assess the situation. There is too many teens or pre-teens that are in pain with the developmental language ability to express the feelings which then turns inward. Go to a professional which can help lead your child out of the dark thoughts.