The world can be a scary place, even more so for a teenager trying to grasp the mechanics of how to live in it. The reality that wasn’t as evident during childhood is making itself known. Such a drastic transition can be challenging for a child who has only experienced a life full of wonders and innocence. Childhood is a place untainted by grown-up worldly worries. However, at a certain age, a teenager has to grow up and deal with an onslaught of unfamiliar emotions and uncharted territories. A mundane moment may be so overwhelming as to trigger an unexpected sense of frustration and anxiety. Such instances are often pinned on teenage angst.
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What is Teenage Angst?
The older generations usually stereotype teenagers as children who have developed an attitude problem that needs readjusting. Someone might undergo drastic behavioural changes in life from being energetic and outgoing as a child to quiet and aloof as a teenager. But a teen’s reaction to certain situations is often brought about by apprehension or insecurity.
Teenagers are often left overwhelmed when juggling school, a budding social life, figuring out their sense of individuality, social norms, and everything else in between. All of these factors are what we call teenage angst.
Understanding teenage angst: How to support your teenager
Having a teenager usually means being at the receiving end of their heightened emotions both positive and negative. Help your teen find healthy ways to deal with their feelings and keep a peaceful environment at home.
Keeping your calm
You might tend to call out your teenager when they commit mistakes or when they don’t follow your rules. When teenagers are confronted with their shortcomings, they are likely to match or surpass the level of their parent’s emotions. As such, don’t let your emotions drive you when you are voicing out your concerns. Talk to your teen as a level-headed parent instead of a demanding tyrant who enforces irrational punishments. Your tranquillity can even serve as an example for your child, letting them see how they should handle distressing situations.
Listening instead of lecturing
Give your teen a chance to explain their side. Don’t throw out unwarranted accusations. Establish an open line of communication. Put yourself in your teen’s shoes to have a proper grasp of the situation. Remember to be flexible — they are still growing up and experiencing a confusing life stage. They are likely to commit mistakes because of their poor judgment, so try to turn these situations into learning experiences. After all, life lessons are taken to heart even more after a mistake.
Spending time with your teen
Even though your adult life may require you to be on top of many responsibilities, you have to find the time to be with your children. Seeing and feeling your presence impacts your child’s life tremendously. Having the constant presence of a parent can prevent a teen from going down a dark path. Teenagers thrive in an environment where a guiding parent is by their side to help them navigate their formative years.
You can find activities for you and your teen to do together that would be enjoyable and even educational. Your teen might be better off spending quality time with you instead of peers who might introduce them to a world of vices.
Teenage Angst vs Depression: How to tell which one your teen is struggling with
Although loosely misconstrued as the same thing, teen angst and depression are entirely different the latter being a mental health disorder that poses life-threatening adverse effects. In any case, try not to downplay symptoms pointing to depression as mere teenage angst.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 16% of the global burden of diseases and injury in teens aged 10-19 are mental health issues. Half of these mental health conditions usually start around the age of 14, but most of the cases are left untreated or undetected. Moreover, about 75% of teenagers who experience depression struggle during adulthood, sometimes leading to other mood disorders and substance abuse. Immediate response is necessary to prevent these conditions from extending to adulthood.
Pointing out depression apart from teen angst is done by examining three areas of concern:
- The intensity or severity of the symptoms — Are family, social, and school life affected?
- The duration of the symptoms — Are the symptoms appearing consistently or irregularly?
- The domain of the symptoms — Are the symptoms only limited at home, or do they appear wherever your child is?
What to do about depression?
If your teen’s symptoms are beyond teenage angst, it is advisable to seek out professional help provided by Key Transitions in los angeles teen mental health center and teen substance abuse treatment center. Taking immediate action to tackle your teen’s depression will go a long way and give you the most favorable outcomes. Prevent your child from struggling with a mental health disorder by being aware and understanding of the life changes they are going through.