Teenagers: What's Abnormal?
Most outrageous behavior during adolescence is normal. It's temporary. It causes no harm to self or others. It doesn't interfere with normal school or family functioning. Most adolescents muddle through this difficult search for independence and identity.
But sometimes the passage of time isn't enough. If your adolescent has any of the following behaviors, he's run aground and needs psychological counseling:
- You think your teenager is depressed or suicidal
- Your teenager is drinking frequently or using other drugs
- You think your teenager is going to run away
- Your teenager is taking undue risks, such as driving recklessly
- He has no close friends
- His school performance has declined markedly
- He skips school frequently
- His outbursts in the home are violent or destructive
- You find yourself escalating your criticism and you don't see a light at the end of the tunnel
In summary, if things are going from bad to worse, arrange counseling. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to turn things around. If you have any questions about your teenager's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 9/1/2005
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.