In the grand scheme, our mental health acts as a predictor of how we lead our lives and the experiences we encounter. Many individuals find that they’re a more productive member of society when they feel great, have energy and remain positive about future events.
Contrarily, individuals — specifically younger folks — may find their mood fluctuates with rapid succession and renders them totally immobile. For these individuals, having any semblance of a normal life seems like a far-off fairy tail reserved for a lucky few. If you’re a parent with a young child living under your roof, or you know an adolescent that needs help, use these signs as a road map that can be used to lead them to better terrain.
One of the most telltale signs of declining adolescent mental health is when a child begins to sleep and become fatigued more than normal. Although younger individuals are more inclined to sleep more hours than we do, it becomes concerning when a child would rather sleep than socialize. It could be a sign of substance abuse, major depression, or both. Located below are a few instances when you should take note and, perhaps, probe the child with questions about how they feel.
- Missing school to sleep
- Declining grades on account of sleeping in class
- Sleeping 10+ hours on a routine basis
- Odd sleeping patterns (i.e. sleeping midday or going to bed in the morning)
- Skipping meals to take naps
These signs are a large indicator that something is going on behind the scenes in the child’s life. As mentioned earlier, approach the child and ask about their mental state and things that are on their mind. By doing this in a friendly manner, you can potentially unlock the child’s issue. From there, it’s easier for parents to utilize various mental health tips to try and begin the healing process.
Emotional Instability and Mania
Combined with excessive resting comes the symptom of rapid mood swings and instances of manic behavior. According to Psych Central, the definition of a manic episode is when a person displays an unnatural sense of self-worth, extreme energy, little need for sleep and impulsive tendencies. These symptoms are usually accompanied by physical manifestations such as rapid speech patterns and jittery movements that the person rarely displays.
Instances of mania routinely show themselves for a period of a week and are, usually, followed by a sudden dip in energy. To paint an analogy, the person’s high is followed by an equal or greater crash in their energy output. Located below are a few scenarios you may find your adolescent engaging in when their mania manifests itself.
- Overly optimistic to the point of delusion
- A sudden need to become productive and responsible to an unnatural degree
- Taking on more responsibility than they’re capable of
- Impulsive spending habits
- Starting a plethora of projects without completing any of them
- A tendency toward drug use and alcohol consumption
Never Become Afraid to Help
As parents and caring adults, we have the tendency to allow teens and young people to express themselves without personal interference. But there comes a time when a teen, rather they’re aware of it or not, is silently crying for help. Never become intimidated or afraid to talk with the young person and see if you can extend a helping hand. Rest assured that there are professionals available twenty-four seven to assist you!