Facts for Parents

Signs that Your Child Needs Help


As a parent, you often sense when something is wrong. But sometimes children hide their feelings, not only from you, but also from their peers. Teens, especially, may create the illusion of a “perfect life” on social media. Here are some signs that your child/teen may need help:

  • Excessive worry, anxiety, and fearfulness

  • Seeming sad most of the time

  • Isolating from family and friends

  • Frequent outbursts of anger; no self-control

  • Self-harm or threats of self-harm

  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping habits

  • Difficulties around school (refusing to go, dropping grades, behavioral issues)

 

Learn more from this article.

What Troubles Kids Today?
 

Generation Z youth are growing up in a very complex society. Numerous studies indicate that most kids report higher levels of stress than adults, and describe their mental health as fair or poor. Stressors can include:

 

  • Pressure to succeed in school, sports, etc.

  • Struggles with social identity

  • Uncertainty about the future

  • School shootings

  • Events in the news

  • Being bullied


They may be silently hurting from:

  • Unresolved trauma

  • Low self-esteem

  • Gender confusion

  • Physical, sexual, and/or verbal abuse

  • Not feeling safe

Up to One in Five Children Show Symptoms of Diagnosable Mental Health Disorders, Such As:
 

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Depression (which has risen sharply in youth)

  • Eating disorders

  • Addiction (alcohol/substance abuse, pornography, internet)

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Phobias and panic disorders

  • Conduct disorders (characterized by aggressive or destructive behaviors)

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Mental health statistics for children and teens

Technology Exacerbates Stressors
 

  • As teens spend about nine hours a day in frontof a screen (younger kids spend five to seven), they’re exposed to potentially harmful content.

  • Bullying used to take place primarily in the school yard—and still does. Now, it’s taking place online, too. And kids are falling prey not only to cyber bullies, but also to cyber stalkers.

  • Kids obsessively com-pare themselves to one another—clothes, body type, and social lives—through a perpetual stream of messages and images on social media. To many kids, it’s a constant reminder that they “don’t measure up.”


Adult Students Are Also Struggling
 

Many college/university students and recent graduates feel like they’re living their lives in “crisis mode.” They represent an age group of young adults who are often stressed beyond their limits.
 

Over half of today’s students have reported feeling overwhelmed by anxiety; college counselors can't keep up with the demand for services. Anxiety and depression top the list of overall problems experienced by students—and depression is the number one reason given for dropping out of school. Not surprising, since over 34% of college students have indicated being depressed. Clinical depression is a debilitating illness that causes anguish, mental impairment, bodily pain, and more.


After graduation? Young people who have graduated and are embarking upon careers are finding it difficult to pay off school loans and make ends meet. Many have moved back with parents. Others are sharing apartments with multiple room-mates. They struggle because their own expectations, and/or those of other people in their lives, are not being met no matter how hard they try.

Check out this online article for more details.


Additional sources for this fact sheet were derived from Samaritan’s children and youth counselors.

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