Learning to live with a mental health condition can be a lifelong process and one that has both good days and bad days. One way that you can help your teen be proactive in coping with their symptoms is by recognizing potential triggers. Here are four common ones that teens might react to.
1. Family Frustrations
Family matters can cause a lot of stress for a teen and trigger mental health symptoms. For example, significant changes in family structure such as an older sibling moving out, parents going through a separation or divorce or even moving as a family to a new town can all be overwhelming events. Even smaller, day-to-day occurrences such unhealthy relationships, poor conflict management or issues with siblings can build up over time.
2. Romantic & Peer Relationships
A teen’s social life, with its ups and downs and in-betweens, can be fairly tumultuous. Peer pressure, fights with friends and struggles to fit in can all be triggers for youth. Romantic relationships in particular can cause significant stress and upset, especially if they don’t end well or in a healthy way. Help your teen learn how to handle the emotions associated with relationships as well as the associated triggers.
3. Academic Pressure
Pressure to do well in school can affect teens in a variety of ways. If your teen struggles academically, staying on top of school work can be difficult and there might even be an element of shame or embarrassment that they have to deal with. On the flip side, some students are driven to achieve and nothing short of perfection is sufficient. Both instances can be triggers to look out for, so try to prepare your teen for upcoming assignments and tests while reminding them that struggling in school isn’t the end of the world.
While this might not necessarily trigger mental health symptoms, boredom can lead to many other feelings and actions that are important to address. Boredom in teens can result in a lack of motivation and sense of purpose which might mimic symptoms of depression. It can also lead to increased engagement in risky behaviors such as drug abuse and unsafe sex.
Feature Image: TaniaVdB