If you are worried about your teen, here are some problem areas (from TeenScreen.org) to think about and mention to your teens primary care physician (PCP). Your doctor can help - talk with them.
Depression or Anxiety (Internalizing problems) Feels sad or unhappy Worries a lot Feels hopeless Seems to be having less fun Down on him- or herself
ADHD (Attention problems) Fidgety, unable to sit still Distracts easily Acts as if driven by motor Daydreams too much Has trouble concentrating
Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (Externalizing Problems) Fights with others Teases others Does not listen to rules Refuses to share Does not understand other people's feelings Blames others for troubles Takes things
Suicidal Thinking or Behavior Has thought of killing him- or herself Has tried to kill him- or herself
Other important things to mention: Complains of aches or pains Spends more time alone Tires easily, little energy Has trouble with teacher Less interested in school Afraid of new situations Are irritable, angry Less interested in friends Absent from school Grades are dropping Does not show feelings Has trouble sleeping Wants to be with parent more than before Feels they are "bad" Takes unnecessary risks Gets hurt frequently Acts younger than age
Teens can be hard to interpret and their behavior may change from day-to-day, but if a concerning pattern of behavior emerges and stays for more than two weeks, it is time to talk with someone - do not let things go too far! Teens need parents to stay connected and guide them through adolescence - there is just so much going on! Do not be afraid to bring things up - it shows you are paying attention, even if you are annoying!