Does My Teen Need To See A Therapist?

As parents, our primary concern is the well-being of our teens and young adults. However, when it comes to mental health, deciding whether to seek therapy can be daunting. There is often a stigma associated with mental health therapy, especially for teens and young adults, fueled by numerous misconceptions and fears.

At Lumos Psychiatric, we understand that choosing therapy for your teen or young adult can be complicated.

How Do I Know If My Teen Should See a Therapist?

Teens and young adults often struggle to express their feelings verbally, instead displaying distress through behavior. Key signs that your child might need professional help include:

Emotional and Behavioral Changes: Pay attention to your child’s emotions and moods, including signs of excessive sadness, fears, or worries, as well as dramatic and sudden mood changes. If you notice the following signs in your child, it might be time to consider therapy:

  • Suddenly withdrawing from family and friends
  • Frequent crying
  • Increased worry or anxiety
  • Becoming more aggressive or irritable
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Regressing to earlier developmental behaviors like bedwetting
  • Risk-taking behaviors such as experimenting with drugs and alcohol
  • Changes in hygiene can be a sign of poor mental health in teens

These changes in behavior could be caused by anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, or even ADHD. Therapy can help your child identify the root cause of the behavior changes and provide coping strategies and support to help your child overcome these challenges.

Academic and Social Issues: Declining grades, reluctance to attend school, or difficulty interacting with peers also signals it is time to consider therapy for your child. Teens, like adults, have daily stressors in their lives and can benefit from seeking mental health support. Other social and academic issues include:

  • Disruptive behavior in and out of the classroom
  • No longer seeking out friends
  • Self-isolating at home and school
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Sudden decline in grades or attendance
  • Increased anxiety or worry over grades and academic performance

If you notice these changes, consider them red flags. While it’s normal for teens and young adults and teens to have bad days, a consistent pattern of drastic behavior changes could warrant the attention of a mental health professional.

Can Receiving Mental Health Care Label My Teen Negatively?

Many parents hesitate to seek therapy for their teens and young adults due to prevalent myths. Here are a few:

Therapy is For Serious Issues: Some parents may not fully understand mental health issues or consider emotional or behavioral challenges in their child as passing phases that can be managed without professional help. Admitting that your teen might need therapy can be difficult for some parents. Therapy can benefit teens, regardless of the severity of their issues. Mental health care can help teenagers and young adults develop healthy coping skills and emotional resilience, especially during transitional periods such as moving from high school to college or entering the workforce.

Receiving Therapy Will Label My Child: Professional therapists focus on helping teenagers and young adults navigate their emotions and improve their mental health without facing stigma. Therapy can assist teenagers in developing healthy coping mechanisms for difficult or stressful situations. There is often societal stigma associated with mental health and treatment. Parents may worry about how seeking mental health support for their child could be perceived by others, fearing judgment or misunderstanding from their community, or worry that the knowledge their child is in therapy could negatively impact their future opportunities. HIPAA privacy laws cover mental health care and services, and your teen’s mental health provider can’t share any information on your child’s care without a signed release.

Teen Mental Health Services in Los Gatos and San Jose, CA

Therapy offers a safe space for teenagers and young adults to express themselves and understand their emotions.

Recognizing the signs that your child may need help and understanding what therapy involves are the initial steps toward helping them achieve emotional well-being. Don’t let myths discourage you from seeking help.

If you are in Los Gatos or San Jose and seeking support for teen mental health concerns, our clinic offers specialized services to address anxiety, depression, and more. Dr. Sarbani Maitra specializes in adolescent psychiatry and provides compassionate care tailored to teens’ needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward supporting your teen’s mental well-being.

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