Adolescent angst is something that most if not all teens go through. So how can you tell whether it is typical teen rebellion or something deeper that ails?
Since mental illnesses often start during adolescence, it is important to detect it early on. Here are some warning signs of deeper problems that one should look out for, particularly if four or more of these persist for two weeks or more:
- Not sleeping well, or enough or too much? Is there trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?
- Losing interest in things once enjoyed, such as sport, school, being with friends, other activities and even food.
- Is there guilt about something? Or feelings of low self esteem and / or worthlessness?
- Physical exhaustion or being drained and less energetic than before.
- Problems with concentration, thinking and decreased decisiveness.
- Appetite changes (either increase or decrease) or weight loss or weight gain.
- Changes in psychomotor skills â€“ sluggishness or fidgety restlessness.
- Suicidal thoughts or plans.
Parents need not try and diagnose the problem as they perceive it. It is however important to watch out for the warning signs above and then take these to the pediatrician so that an accurate evaluation can be made.