In many ways, adolescence can be one of the most emotionally challenging periods of a person’s life. Whilst coping with physical and hormonal changes, teenagers often face many social, academic and family pressures. What’s more, whilst attempting to manage this stress, teenagers often face greater challenges in managing their impulses, attention and motivation.

Therefore, it is not surprising that teenagers can be particularly susceptible to developing emotional health concerns. Whilst every teenager responds differently to challenges, some factors which impact mental health in teenagers include:

  • Academic pressure
  • Instability within friendship groups at school
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Family conflict
  • The death of a family member or friend
  • Life adjustments such as moving house or changing schools
  • Being the recipient or perpetrator of bullying
  • Having to take on more responsibility than is age-appropriate

For many mental health disorders experienced by adults, the onset begins in adolescent or early adulthood. Whilst conditions such as autism are observed from childhood, mood and anxiety disorders often begin during adolescence. It is therefore particularly important for teenagers to receive psychological assessment and support as soon as concerns are raised about their well-being.

For parents, it can be difficult to differentiate between what is normal teenage moodiness or emotional difficulties, versus what requires attention of a psychologist or psychiatrist. At VCPS our practitioners work one-on-one with teenagers and, where appropriate, their families and schools, to provide assessments and advice in order to promote emotional well-being through this challenging period in life.

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