Signs of teenagers in crisis

depressed f med 150x150 Signs of teenagers in crisis


Families will normally be the first ones to notice changes in the teen’s behavior.

Signs of teenagers in crisis include the following:

  • becoming increasingly rebellious
  • withdrawing from family and friends
  • seeking new friends who exhibit questionable behavior
  • becoming violent
  • taking on compulsive obsessions
  • becoming sneaky
  • starting to lie about whereabouts
  • sudden drop in school performance
  • extreme mood swings
  • disappearance of items including money.

On noticing negative changes, parents and caregivers should take immediate steps to resolve the issue. Non-confrontational means of communicating with the teen should be implemented by parents and caregivers. If in doubt, seek professional help with the teen.

Does My Teen Need Help?

Teen Assessment

Read the list of 30 questions below to determine if your teen needs help.  This teen assessment is designed to be a first step and it might be critical for you to discuss the results with a therapist. Please refer to the scoring guide below to see which options are most suitable for your child, based upon the total number of questions that you checked as positive.

1. Does your teen struggle with basic family rules and expectations?
2. Has your teen ever been suspended, expelled, truant or had a drop in school grades?
3. Has your teen ever been verbally abusive?
4. In your opinion, does your teen associate with a bad peer group?
5. Has your teen lost interest in former productive activities, such as hobbies and sports?
6. Do you have difficulty getting your teen to do simple household chores or homework without a major fight?
7. Has your teen had problems with the law?
8. Do you find yourself picking your words carefully when speaking to your teen so as not to elicit a verbal attack or rage from them?
9. Are you worried that your teen may not finish high school?
10. Does your teen, at times, seem depressed and/or withdrawn?
11. Is your teen’s appearance or personal hygiene outside your family standards?
12. Has your teen ever displayed violent behavior?
13. Is your teen manipulative or deceitful?
14. Does your teen seem to lack motivation?
15. Do you suspect that your teen is telling lies or has been dishonest with you?
16. Are you concerned that your teen may be sexually promiscuous?
17. Have you seen any evidence of suicidal thoughts, such as statements that your teen wanted to be dead, etc?
18. Do you suspect that you have had money or other valuables missing from your home?
19. Are you concerned that your teen’s behavior is a threat to his safety and well-being?
20. Does your teen seem to lack self-esteem and self-worth?
21. Do you have a lack of trust with your teen?
22. Is your teen angry or displaying temper outbursts?
23. Does your teen have problems with authority?
24. Does your teen engage in activities you don’t approve of?
25. Do you think your teen is using or experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol?
26. Are you concerned about your teen’s well-being and future?
27. Does your teen seem to be in constant opposition to your family values?
28. No matter what rules and consequences are established, does your teen defy them?
29. Are you exhausted and worn out from your teen’s defiant or destructive behaviors and choices?
30. When dealing with your teen, do you often feel that you are powerless?

Your Total Score is: _______

18+ Checks = HIGH RISK!
– Get help! – Find a residential facility that you feel comfortable with.


– The problems may be resolved by tightening up the Family Rules and Structure. However, a residential treatment facility may need to be considered if things don’t improve or if the situation worsens.

Up to 8 Checks = MODERATE RISK
– Tighten up family rules and be consistent with your monitoring. It is critical that you follow through. When you say something will happen, your teen must see it happen!

parents at computer 300x169 Does My Teen Need Help?Please call if you have any questions regarding this teen assessment.  We would love to visit with you and discuss these questions in greater depth if you have concerns.  (800) 584 5005

When is it time to place your teen?

Class under Tree copy 200x300 When is it time to place your teen?Teen placement is always a difficult question.  It can be very difficult to determine when and where to place your child in treatment.  A good place to start this evaluation is to simply make a subjective assessment of their general emotional health.  Mental or emotional health refers to ones overall psychological well-being.  It includes the way one feels about oneself, the quality of their relationships, and their ability to manage feelings and deal with difficulties.  Good emotional health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems.  Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues.  Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.  Sometimes when considering outpatient treatment parents ask themselves, “is my teen ‘bad’ enough to warrant treatment”.  But maybe we should be asking, is our teen healthy enough to stay at home and deal with life as a young adult.  Here are some of the abilities that a teen needs to live a productive life.

People who are emotionally healthy have:

  • A sense of contentment.
  • A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
  • The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
  • A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
  • The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change.
  • A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
  • The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem.

These positive characteristics of mental and emotional health allow you to participate in life to the fullest extent possible through productive, meaningful activities and strong relationships. These positive characteristics also help you cope when faced with life’s challenges and stresses.