Young people’s brains are growing and changing rapidly from the time they are born all the way into their early 20’s. Sometimes their developing brains and bodies struggle to keep up in a way that helps them to be successful. When young people struggle they do not always have the words to SAY what they are going through and so they try to SHOW it instead. Their behavior often communicates what is going on within them but it is not always easy to interpret and respond to. This is where a therapist can be helpful. A therapist serves as somewhat of an interpreter between the young person and those that love them. A therapist can help teach a young person to communicate in ways that others can better understand and can also help those that love the young person respond in ways the young person can better receive. If you notice a young person you love seems to be struggling with behaviors that interfere or cause pain in their lives, the lives of you as parents or their siblings, and the lives of their friends and teachers it may be helpful to bring in some help. Sometimes a young person’s struggles are elicited by a life stressor that is too much for their growing brain to cope with given the amount of coping skills they have learned in their short lives. Sometimes their struggles are related to a brain structure that makes managing life’s demands more difficult without extra tools. No matter the cause, when a young person begins showing signs of struggle it is never too early to intervene and give them the help they are trying to ask for.
Some behaviors that may indicate that help is needed include:
- Withdrawal and Isolation
- Frequent crying that is not age typical
- Outbursts of anger
- Expressions of not wanting to live or hating themselves
- Sudden changes in grades
- Sudden changes in behavior such as going from being respectful and cooperative at school to being disruptive in the classroom and refusing to do work
- Fear of going to school
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches that are not explained by a medical condition
- Frequently talking about fears or worries, perhaps fears that seem beyond their scope of responsibilities
- Difficulty expressing their feelings and needs in words others can respond to
- Hyperactivity that makes complying with daily responsibilities difficult
If a young person you love is struggling, let us help. We are passionate about helping young people find their voices and live life to their full potential!