Teens are known for being moody and irritable, and defiance and rebellion are common or even problematic with some teenagers. However, these are also warning signs that may indicate serious problems that parents need to be aware of. Raising teenagers can be frustrating and exhausting, and you may be inclined to simply let a brooding teen stay cooped up in his or her bed. This may be acceptable from time to time, but when this becomes a regular occurrence in your home, consider if your teen’s mood and actions may be caused by one of these situations.

Mental Health Concerns

Depression and anxiety are unfortunately common in teens. When left untreated, suffering teens may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Some even harm themselves or others. Mental health conditions may be treated with medication and therapy when they are properly diagnosed. The prognosis can be excellent when conditions are identified early and treated by a doctor.

Keep in mind that life can be very difficult for a teenager. With rapid changes in hormones and brain chemicals, it can be hard to keep up. A little bit of sadness and anxiety is normal and may not be a sign of things to come, but be vigilant. Do what you can to talk to your teen during these times and make sure they know you’re there to help. The more you know about what they’re going through, the better you can guide them to helpful solutions. They may not want to talk to you about everything, but keeping that door open is very important when times get tough. Lastly, don’t attempt to diagnose your teen yourself. You may be very familiar, but it’s better that they hear a diagnosis from a doctor so they can turn to you for support.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Many teens experiment with drugs or alcohol. Some may try these substances once or twice and decide that they do not like them. Others may easily become addicted. Drug and alcohol use in teens can have serious or even fatal consequences. Regular abuse can also lead to criminal activities, and it may impair your teen’s ability to get into college and pursue future dreams. Teen rehabilitation and recovery centers have very effective results for in-patient and out-patient programs. As a parent, your identification of a problem is the first step to take to getting your teen the lifeline he or she needs before things go wrong.

Bullying and Abuse

Bullying is a common problem with teens as well. A variation of this is related to dating abuse. These issues may be physically and emotionally traumatic. They can be difficult for parents to learn about unless the teenager opens up, but you may spot warning signs by being observant. Depending on the source of abuse or what the bullying situation is, you will need to determine how to intervene to stop this from happening in the future. Your teenager may also need therapy after dealing with this type of trauma.

Some moodiness can be attributed to teenage hormones, the stress of growing up and other factors. Because it may also be the result of many other serious situations, it is important to observe your teen’s behavior and communicate with him or her regularly. By doing so, you can intervene quickly if the need arises.