Divorce can be hard on children, and all the more so for teenagers. The developmental challenges of adolescence are often compounded when the home environment is going through a period of transition. If your teenager is not thriving the way they used to, seek help from a mental health professional. Your attorney can provide you with a list of referrals in your area.
Here are some signs that your teen might need some professional intervention:
DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE
Many teenagers self-medicate with whatever substances are in fashion. If your teenager is using an illegal substance seek professional help. Be aware that even seemingly benign drugs like Ritalin can be controlled substances and, in the case of Ritalin, teenagers sell it to each other as a cheap and available stimulant.
SLIPPING OR FAILING GRADES
Pay close attention to your teen's academic performance. If you notice a significant change in grades, speak to their teachers. A drop in grades might be due to absenteeism, a situation you even might not be aware is occurring.
LOSS OF INTEREST IN FRIENDS
Some teenagers isolate themselves socially when they are struggling. If you are used to seeing your teenager's friends and suddenly they are gone, it might be a sign your teen is suffering.
CHANGE IN SLEEP PATTERNS
Excessive sleep might seem normal for teenagers, but there is a limit. If your teen is sleeping too much or not enough, or you notice significant changes in sleep routine, this might be a sign of distress.
Chronic pain and illness is often a symptom of depression in teens and it is one that doctors often fail to recognize.
If your teenager is suffering from some of the above, he or she might be clinically depressed. Therapy and medication can be highly effective in treating depression in teens. Try a cognitive behavioral therapist for short-term goal-oriented treatment.
If your teenager is suffering through, or in the aftermath of, your divorce speak to divorce attorney Steven M. Bishop about how your parenting plan can be modified to establish a better balance of parental guidance to support your teen. Call our San Diego Law Offices at 619-299-9780, or contact us online.