Clumsy Accident or Self-Harm?

As we continue our series discussion on recognizing teen warning signs we are going to touch on two very scary and difficult areas, self-harm and suicide.  These are two teen epidemics that are getting a lot of media attention.  I want to pull the curtain back from all of the media hype and give you some straight forward information.  This post is a focus on self-harm, suicide will be the focus on the following post.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is deliberate injury that a person inflicts on themselves. 

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Fickle Eater or Eating Disorder?

The previous two posts outline the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.  This post will explore the signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

There are two types of eating disorders, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.  These are disorders that are considered symptoms of depression and anxiety, they are ways in which teens cope and ways in which they exert control over their life.

Anorexia as defined by the Mayo Clinic is:

“Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that’s far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively.” Continue reading

Anxiety or Normal Teen Angst?

Being a teenager is probably one of the most stressful andAnxiety can be paralizing anxious times in a person’s life.  There is pressure from all sides, friends, family, and school all while  teens are trying to figure out who they are and what they believe.  So, how do we know if the teens in our life are just going through normal teen angst or if they are developing significant issues with anxiety?

What is the definition of Anxiety? It is fear based and usually focuses on what could/will happen (i.e. PTSD – fear of what could happen based on past trauma experience, arachnophobia – its not actually fear of the spider, but what the spider could or will do.)

Here are some warning signs for anxiety you need to look:

  • Lost interest – fear of not being accepted being an outcast…avoiding situations
  • Change in sleep and food habits
  • Day dreams and doesn’t want to do things
  • Experience a sudden drop in grades
  • Feeling guilty
  • Extreme anger or sadness/over reaction
  • Constantly afraid
  • Multiple headaches and stomach aches
  • Forgets and doesn’t want to study
  • Isolation
  • Sweating excessively or needing to go to the restroom often
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Nightmares

If you have a teen in your life, or if you yourself are struggling with anxiety you don’t have to do it alone.  Help is available, call today for a free 20 minute consultation.

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Overcoming the Bully

As a kid, I was the “fat kid” who was teased quite a bit about her weight.  When people think about bullying, this is the type of thing that they often think of. However, bullying is an issue that is rampant across our society, and it is not always as clear-cut as the name calling that I experienced. Unfortunately, bullying is an issue that most of us have to deal with in some capacity, at some point in our lives.  Whether it is a bully on the playground, in the workplace, or corporate bullies such as the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch who recently stated that he only wanted “popular” and “pretty” people wearing his clothes, being insulted or belittled is hurtful, and if not addressed, can be deeply harmful.

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Teen Drug Abuse Facts

I ran across this great article today by www.DoSomething.org. It lists teen drug abuse facts, 11 to be exact.  This is scary information everyone that has or works with teens should be aware of.

Drugs are in our schools, on our playgrounds and in our malls.  It is imperative that we know the facts and educate our youth from young ages.  I can’t tell you how many teens I’ve worked with that began experimenting with drugs as young as 9 and 10 years old.  It’s both shocking and scary!

Start talking to your kids at a young age and keep talking to them, even when they roll their eyes.  The more open communication you have with the teens in your life the more likely they will come to you in their times of need.  If they come to you with concerns or questions about drugs or alcohol, remain calm and talk openly.  They will know if you are being genuine and they will hesitate to talk to you in the future if you freak out about their questions.  Remember teens are in a phase in which they are working to create their own identity.  They are curious and want to learn more about the world in which they live.

If you don’t talk to them about drugs and alcohol, their peers will.