Kids go through many changes in just a few years. But if you’ve noticed your teen acting in ways that go beyond typical odd behaviors, it may be in their best interest to seek a mental health evaluation.
At Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment in Mercer Island, Washington, we specialize in psychiatric evaluations for adolescents and adults. Board-certified psychiatrist Richard E. Repass, MD, also provides comprehensive treatment services for any adolescent problems that your child may be struggling with.
6 signs to watch out for in adolescents
Parents today have a tough job deciding what’s typical teen behavior and what issues may require professional medical attention. With the strong influence of social media, peer pressure, and the general chaos of the world, kids have a lot to deal with on a daily basis.
Here are some potential warning signs to look for in a child struggling with their mental or emotional health:
Altered sleep schedules
Teens are often called out for their unusual sleeping habits, including staying in bed until mid-afternoon and catching a nap whenever it’s convenient.
But kids who sleep excessively or dramatically change their usual sleep schedule may benefit from a mental health evaluation.
Loss of interest in activities
Kids have changing tastes as they grow up, but teens with depression or anxiety may noticeably lose interest in many activities at once.
If you notice your adolescent no longer wants to participate in sports, academic clubs, or other favorite activities, a mental health evaluation can shed some light on the underlying issues.
Loss of interest in friends
Depressed teens may start avoiding their usual friend group or isolating themselves from family and loved ones.
Another potential sign of mental health issues may be a sudden change in friends or association with kids who may not be the best influence on your child.
Never-ending bad days
A bad day happens to us all, and many teens may express their frustration when things go wrong in dramatic ways. But kids with a bad attitude that goes on for weeks or months at a time may be a call for help.
Evidence of substance use
Drinking alcohol or using drugs can be part of the adolescent experience, especially under the pressure of peers.
When your child gets caught drunk or high, it may be a one-time experience — one that deserves a conversation between parents and child. If the substance use persists, don’t put off a mental health evaluation.
Kids can say some strange things, especially in this age when new slang terms are being invented online and off.
If your child expresses any thoughts about harming themselves or others, schedule a mental health evaluation right away. Erring on the side of caution even with flippant remarks could save your child’s life.
How to request a mental health evaluation for your teen
The Washington State Health Care Authority offers the Family Initiated Treatment (FIT) program for residents aged 13-17 who need help with mental health concerns or addiction issues.
Through this program, you can request a mental health evaluation for your child by a qualified professional like Dr. Repass.The FIT program ensures that your child has access to the medical help they need, even if they don’t provide their consent.
We offer a variety of general psychiatry services, including psychotherapy and addiction counseling to help your child heal and learn how to thrive.
Call us at Revolution Psychiatry and Addiction Treatment in Mercer Island, Washington, to schedule a mental health evaluation for your adolescent today.