If you’ve thought your teen might benefit from talking to a therapist, you’ve probably noticed some changes that have caused you to pause and wonder what might be going on with them. If you’ve been on the fence about having your teen see a counselor, here are five tell-tale signs that might convince you to take the next step.


1. Change in Mood

While mood swings can be typical of developing teens, persistent changes in mood that seem uncharacteristic of your teen may indicate something more. If your teen appears closed-off and is unwilling to open up, it could be beneficial to set up an appointment with a counselor who has experience working with teens, and can further assess to rule out depression, anxiety, and trauma.


2. Sudden Drop in Grades

If your teen historically maintains A’s and B’s and their grades suddenly drop to C’s and D’s, this may indicate their mental health is suffering. In order to learn and perform well, your teen needs to feel their best, starting with their mental health. 


3. Isolating From Friends and Family

Many teens will naturally separate from their family (and even certain friends) during their adolescent years as they seek independence and explore their identity. That said, if you notice your teen is consistently isolating from their peer group and prefers to spend time alone, it may signal that something more is going on. Many teens endure depression, anxiety, and cyberbullying and often hesitate to open up to others about what they are going through.


4. Changes in Eating or Sleeping Habits

If your teen suddenly changes their eating or sleeping habits, it is possible that they are suffering from depression or another mental health condition. Some specific signs to look out for is if your teen stops eating in front of others, prefers to eat alone in their room, hides food, or gets defensive when asked about eating. Alternatively, if your teen is not sleeping enough or chooses to sleep instead of spending time on their hobbies, in sports, or with their friends, you may want to consider having them assessed by a mental health professional. 


5. Self-Harm Behaviors

Lastly, if you’ve been concerned or suspicious that your teen may be engaging in self-harming behaviors, it is imperative to have them meet with a therapist. Teens engaging in self-harming behaviors often indicates an underlying need for emotional support. A therapist will work with your teen on identifying triggers and finding healthy and helpful replacement coping strategies. 


If any of these signs resonate with you, please connect with our office to learn more about our process and how we can help your teen become healthier and happier versions of themselves. 


~Jenna Uhrik, MS, LMFT