Eva Carlston Academy Reviews Warning Signs That Your Teen is Struggling

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Eva Carlston Academy

Eva Carlston Academy is a unique residential treatment school in Salt Lake City focused on mentorship and developing a sense of purpose for struggling adolescent girls. In the following, Eva Carlston Academy reviews many of the behaviors and signals that are indicators of a child going through a difficult time.

Trying to determine if your teen is experiencing the normal ups and downs of adolescence or if they are struggling with something far more dangerous can be difficult. It’s important to track any significant changes and encourage them to talk about problems they may be experiencing.

Here are some areas to be mindful of, plus the warning signs indicating your teen might be struggling with their mental health.

Risk Factors

Some teenagers have a higher risk of developing a mental illness. A teen is more likely to suffer from mental health issues if they experience any of these risk factors, which include genetic, biological, environmental, and cultural elements:

  • A family history of mental illness
  • Family dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Identity issues
  • Social issues
  • Life changes
  • Grief
  • Poverty
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic disease, illness, or recent injury

Signs to Look Out For

Risk factors can influence the signs and symptoms of a teen struggling with their mental health. You want to look out for any sudden or drastic changes to their mood, behavior, or physical appearance. According to Eva Carlston Academy, any frequent mention of death or suicide is also a major indicator they need help.

Emotion and Mood Changes

Mood changes are one of the first noticeable signs that a teenager is struggling with their mental wellbeing. Each mental illness has its own set of symptoms that can often overlap. Not every teen will display the same set of symptoms for a particular illness as they do vary from person to person.

Adolescents can experience a range of symptoms just once, infrequently or all the time. This can make it difficult to figure out if your child is struggling with an actual disorder or if they are just doing their best to cope with the challenges of being a teenager.

Pay attention to how long your child exhibits the following changes:

  • Increased anger or irritability
  • Frequently feeling anxious or worried
  • Extreme sadness and/or crying spells
  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Agitation or inability to sit still
  • Trouble thinking or remembering things
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism or fear of failure
  • Hears voices or feeling out of control
  • Expressing suicidal thoughts

If any of these symptoms last for weeks to months or interfere with your child’s daily life, it may be time to speak to a professional.

Changes in Behavior

Recognizing any mood or emotional changes is important in identifying if your teen may be going through some sort of crisis, but those signs alone may not be the biggest indicator. Behavioral changes may be more noticeable to help clue you in to a problem.

Take note of any of these changes in behavior:

  • Trouble sleeping and/or frequent nightmares
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Has little to no energy
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Periodic spells of intense activity
  • Experiences a decline in grades or poor school performance
  • Obsessive fear of gaining weight
  • Obsessive exercise or dieting
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Engages in risky or harmful behaviors
  • Engages in self-harm
  • Running away
  • Excessive phone use
  • Pays less attention to personal hygiene

Check-in with your teen to see why these changes in behavior are occurring. Talk to them about what you can do to support them. Ask questions and practice heartfelt listening.

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Physical Changes

Eva Carlston Academy notes that sometimes, physical changes can be seen before you notice a major difference in your teen’s behavior. For example, you may not have realized their change in attitude towards food or their eating habits, but you can more easily recognize the physical signs of weight loss or weight gain.

Suicidal Thoughts

A sudden dwelling on or frequent talking about death and dying is a red flag. Adolescents struggling with their mental health, especially those dealing with substance abuse, often think, and talk about, suicide. An increasing number of teenagers are attempting suicide in the last few years, so it is vital you take any indications seriously.

These are suicide warnings to watch out for:

  • Talking or joking about committing suicide
  • Making comments like “I wish I could disappear” or “I would no longer be a burden”
  • Making positive comments about death or romanticizing the idea of dying
  • Writing or creating art that centers on death, dying, or suicide
  • Engaging in reckless behavior that results in injury
  • Giving away possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Making a plan for or attempting to commit suicide

Some teenagers may use some of this behavior as a coping strategy without the intent of hurting themselves, but it’s important to have them understand how this kind of talk is problematic.

Take immediate action if you believe your teen is displaying suicidal tendencies.

Bottom Line

Discovering that your child is struggling with a mental disorder can be scary, but you’re not alone. Engaging with them is the first step in getting to the root of the problem so you can then talk about treatment and recovery. Having a mental illness can make life challenging, but it doesn’t need to prevent your teen from living a fulfilling life if they receive the help they need.