19 Signs of a Troubled Teen

Signs of a troubled teenager | Aspiro Adventure Therapy

Teenage years and teenage problems can be rough for parents and teens alike. As teens make mistakes, learn, and develop the skills necessary to be an independent autonomous adult, it can seem like they are on an emotional roller coaster. Some behaviors that teens display are normal, such as mood swings, increased peer influence, and a changing appearance. There are always going to be typical, teenage problems and behaviors. As teens strive for more independence and explore their own opinions, arguments with family members and struggling for more freedom are not uncommon; however, there are some red flag signs your teen may be in trouble that every parent should be aware of.

While teens are likely to turn to their friends rather than their parents for advice on making choices, a sudden change in their entire peer group could be a red flag, especially if the newfound friends are having a negative influence. In addition, teenagers may want to express their newfound individuality by dying their hair or trying a new style of clothing; however, an extreme change in appearance, such as an extreme weight loss or gain could signify that this is outside the scope of normal teenage behavior. Here are some other warning signs of a troubled teenager:

  • Secretive behavior, deception, or lying
  • Unexpected/unexplainable decreased or failing academic performance
  • Spending too much time sleeping
  • Excessive electronics usage (internet, video games, social media, etc.)
  • Significant changes in appetite or eating patterns (skipping meals, avoiding food, hoarding food, binge eating, or emotionally eating)
  • Excessive Isolation
  • Regularly missing curfew
  • Stealing
  • Skipping school
  • Body image issues
  • Promiscuity
  • Significant disregard for personal hygiene
  • Withdrawal from favorite sports or activities
  • Excessive outbursts
  • Self-injury (cutting or burning) or mentioning hurting him or herself
  • Extreme defiance
  • Bullying others
  • Experimenting with alcohol and drugs
  • Loss of self-esteem/extreme self-loathing

If a child is displaying some of these warning signs of a troubled teen, his or her issues may go beyond the scope of typical teenage problems. It could be time to think about an appropriate treatment program, as these could be signs of a mental illness, destructive behavior, substance abuse problem, or eating disorder. Having these issues evaluated and treated by reputable professionals, who utilize up to date approaches is essential to helping your teen continue their growth to a healthy, successful adult life.

Visit our article Boot Camp for Teens: Is There a More Effective Solution? to learn more about healthy, effective solutions to help teenagers and young adults through their challenges.

About Aspiro Adventure Therapy Program

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Aspiro Adventure offers safe, effective, and clinically-sophisticated options to treat troubled young adults and teenagers.

Aspiro Adventure’s Wilderness Adventure Therapy program was uniquely crafted to assist students and their families in creating lasting, life-long emotional changes through compassionate, intentional, research-backed, and safe outdoor adventure therapy programs. The professionals at Aspiro Adventure understand individuals don’t come with instructions, and every student is unique, capable, and amazing in their own right.

Aspiro Adventure focuses on helping adolescents, young adults, and their families through difficulties that occur when various behavioral, cognitive, or developmental issues are present. Research shows that engaging individuals on a personal level with strategic and intentional activities will aid in developing the tools and skills necessary to engage life in a healthy and positive way.

By Josh Watson, LCSW, CMO at Aspiro Adventure Therapy Program
  • Josh Watson, LCSW
    Josh Watson, LCSW
    CMO

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Aspiro Adventure Therapy is continuing to support families through this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring information related to COVID-19 and have implemented additional safety precautions to mitigate risks. Our enhanced admissions screening and program guidelines are informed by the CDC and Utah department of health. To learn more, contact us at (801) 349-2740.

Josh Watson, LCSW
CMO

Also specializes in: crisis de-escalation / anxiety resolution / frustration tolerance / verbal de-escalation / CBT/DBT / interpersonal relationships/leadership development

Josh has been working with adolescents, young adults, and their families since 2001. As an original member of the Aspiro Leadership Team, Josh has fulfilled several roles at Aspiro including Clinical Wilderness Therapist, Clinical Supervision, Admissions Director, Strategic Development, and currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer. He is passionate about carrying out the mission of Aspiro and creating the best possible experience for our clients. When Josh is not at work he enjoys traveling, cooking, outdoor adventure (of course!), golf, and spending time doing just about anything with his wife and two daughters.