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Adolescent (12-17) Mental Health Servcies

DepressionAnxiety, and OCD are some of the most common disorders in adolescents today. Our adolescent mental health provider, Eddie Mariscal PMHNP-BC, can help to treat your adolescent, who is 12 to 17 years of age, on a short-term or long-term basis depending on the needs of your adolescent and the family.

Happy group of teen student jumping in park

Teens need mental health services just as much as adults, but many times often don’t get those services or do not have access to those services.

young adults

We believe that the lack of services for our youth is unfortunate because mental health problems in adolescence can be extremely disruptive and painful. If untreated, depression, anxiety and other disorders can progress into life-long problems for teens. That’s why we have mental health services designed just for them.

Many factors increase the risk of developing or triggering teen depression, including: Having issues that negatively impact self-esteem, such as obesity, peer problems, long-term bullying or academic problems.

Depression

Depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder in adolescents, with severe depression being more common in girls than boys.

Teen depression can make your adolescent feel sad, hopeless, worthless, and irritable. However, because depression affects the way your teenager thinks, feels, and behaves, a simple change in attitude is not enough to ease symptoms. Depression is a serious mental health problem that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. Although depression can occur at any time in life, symptoms may be different between adults and teens.

The teen years are a time when mood disorders can first appear. The specific symptoms of a depressive disorder will depend on the type of mood you have: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or another type of depressive disorder.

Behavioral changes

There may be changes in behavior, such as:

  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite — decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing, or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  • Frequent complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches, which may include frequent visits to the school nurse
  • Social isolation
  • Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
  • Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance
  • Angry outbursts, disruptive or risky behavior, or other acting-out behaviors
  • Self-harm — for example, cutting or burning

 

If depressive symptoms continue, begin to interfere in your teen’s life, or cause you to have concerns about suicide or your teen’s safety, talk to a doctor or a mental health professional trained to work with adolescents.

Never ignore comments or concerns about mental health. Always take action to get help.

Anxiety

Anxious teenagers are different from anxious children. At each stage of development, kids have different worries and vulnerabilities.

Younger children are prone to be anxious about external things — like animals or insects, the dark, monsters under the bed, or something bad happening to mom and dad. But teenagers are more likely to be worried about themselves — their performance in school or sports, how they are perceived by others, the changes in their bodies.

Some anxious teenagers have been anxious for many years by the time they reachadolescence. Maybe parents have been aware of it, but the child functioned well despite their distress, so nothing was done about it. Or the child was treated, and things got better. But as more is expected of them, in middle and high school, and as they develop more focus on their peers, the anxiety can resurface and become more severe. And some teens who weren’t anxious children develop adolescent-onset kinds of anxiety, including social anxiety and panic attacks.

Symptoms of anxiety in teenagers

Symptoms of anxiety vary widely, from withdrawal and avoidance to irritability and lashing out. Anxiety is often overlooked because teenagers are good at hiding their thoughts and feelings. But these are some of the behaviors that might be a sign that a teenager is anxious.

  • Recurring fears and worries about routine parts of everyday life
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Extreme self-consciousness or sensitivity to criticism
  • Withdrawal from social activity
  • Avoidance of difficult or new situations
  • Chronic complaints about stomachaches or headaches
  • Drop in grades or school refusal
  • Repeated reassurance-seeking
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance use

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