Teenage life is often a lot of fun and there are many articles discussing the positive developments that occur in the life of a teenager. It is equally important to be aware of the issues, sometimes big issues, that can make a teen swerve into unhelpful behavior and development. Some of these teenage problems will include the risks of body shaming, bullying, anxiety, and social media, to name a few.
A strong family environment and culture will certainly assist a teen in facing various decisions, but it is impossible to shield teens from temptation or hurt. This article looks at several common teenage problems and explains them a little more.
One characteristic of teenagers is that they are extremely connected to social groups. The heightened sense of connection that teens have to social media compounds its undeniable ability to influence their emotions and thoughts.
In the past, teenagers would be on the phone calling and speaking to their friends. Now the cellphone brings a much wider social network to them all the time, and just like other parts of the internet, there are some dark rooms where teens wander but do not emerge unscathed.
Like the Hotel California where you can check in but never leave, so disturbing sights and sounds cannot be unseen or unheard. They will impact the emotional well-being of your teenager.
Parents and caregivers are in a wonderful position to provide love, support, and patience to their teens while they assist them in managing various issues. Some issues may be the result of poor behavior choices, while others may be physical or mental health conditions.
A brief introduction to common teenage problems.
Teens are reporting a higher level of depression than previously, and studies show that more than one in ten teens acknowledge experiencing at least one period when they were depressed. As a possible reflection of the role that social bonds and approval play, girls are more likely to experience depression than boys.
Remember that not every teen who goes through depression before they are nineteen years old will carry the symptoms of depression into their adult lives, although there is an increased likelihood of it happening.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons for teens to experience anxiety, and these include concerns surrounding schoolwork, social anxieties, worries about current affairs, and concerns about family issues.
Predictably more teens experience anxiety than ever before with almost one-third of teens reporting that they have experienced some form of teen anxiety disorder. Similar to the experience of adults, anxiety will hold a teen back from feeling comfortable, confident, and assertive in social settings and relationships.
Teens experience a heightened desire to be accepted by others. It is an exceptionally powerful desire which almost every teen experiences. The threat of social rejection can generate fear and anxiety that will prevent a teen from saying or acting in a way that will risk further rejection.
Even the threat is enough to introduce teens to symptoms of depression. This threat can make a teen feel isolated and discourage them from engaging with others in the area where they feel threatened.
Pressure to perform well academically is a consistent pressure throughout school for most teens. Some parents push their children hard to perform well at school and if done inappropriately it may result in harm. Teens who feel they are incapable of getting on top of a particular subject will likely lose confidence, and when a parent is impatient and expresses too little empathy for them, their distress may be compounded.
Speaking in public is often a greater difficulty for teens struggling with academic pressure. When outward success at school is the only graph they feel measured on, the pressure to perform may be too much and they could feel swamped by the opportunity to stand up and express themselves clearly. When teens feel swamped, they do not often reach out for the help that is commonly available at school or home.
Bullying is not a new entry into our culture. It can even be noticed in biblical and other historical accounts of cultures through time. The difference between then and now is that social media amplifies the effect of bullying. Cyberbullying and the horrifically termed ‘slut-shaming’ are two such tactics that will affect one in two teens.
Cyber-bullying, which teens experience on social media, messaging platforms, while gaming, or generally on their mobile phones, is often repeated behavior with the intent to scare, anger, or shame.
Slut-shaming happens when women and girls are publicly ridiculed for breaking expectations of behavior and appearance based on their gender. Men and boys are far less likely to be ridiculed for this reason.
The harmful words of cyber bullies and shaming of young women can cause significant emotional damage, and as the internet allows immediate and wide sharing of hurtful words and images the harm these actions cause is multiplied.
Social media has brought a far heightened intensity to the pressure adolescents feel when it comes to upholding the cultural ideals of body shape and size. Online there are innumerable pictures to which teens can compare themselves, but often when teens post images of themselves to the internet it allows for body shaming and hurtful comments.
Staying connected to friends is made easier with social media. Twenty years ago, Facebook and other social media platforms were yet to be launched and the opportunity to connect with friends and family was limited to traditional correspondence. The addictive nature of social media means that it often displaces healthier forms of engagement and activities. And so, it can become harmful in many ways.
Teens who put too much focus on curating an image for themselves or spend too much time comparing themselves to others experience distress. The need to appear as something more than what you are shows the complex link between social media and self-image.
Teens will often build themselves up through social media, which may help their self-esteem, but if their exaggerations are exposed, they will find they have been building on a fickle and insecure foundation.
It is a commonly accepted fact that society moves more quickly than it used to. More information is presented, and more choices are demanded each day than ever before. Teens may have academic pressure or sports achievements in mind, but they are also living in a world with more mass school shootings, climate change, global warming, an increase in teen suicide rates, and personal safety to name a few.
The teens of today are the children who have often grown up with overscheduled calendars and this stress often builds up. When underprepared teenagers are faced with the significant pressures typical to teens, their heightened stress levels across multiple areas of their lives can lead to anxiety, depression, and less secure mental well-being.
Getting to grips with a low self-image is difficult and a common feature of many individual’s teen years is their struggle with a poor self-image. After childhood, the pressures of being accepted, social media, performing well at school and so many others compound and a teen is often not well prepared to face and overcome these challenges. The result is low self-esteem.
A low self-image can become a defining feature of a teen’s life experience and influence how they think, act, and speak. It will overflow into their ability to forge healthy relationships and impact their overall well-being.
This list provides a brief introduction to just some of the common teenage problems found in our neighborhoods today.
Finding support from counseling for teens.
If you are looking for the type of help that teen counseling provides, then why not browse our online counselor directory, or contact our office to schedule an appointment? We would be honored to walk with you on this journey.
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