Raising a troubled teen is a deeply challenging process. It causes a great deal of strife for the entire family, and can seem like an insurmountable task. Both you and your child know that they are on a downward spiral, and they don’t want to be there themselves. But through acting out they can’t seem to get a handle on their behavior. What can you do when your teen seems so unwilling to change their trajectory?
This is the question all parents in a similar situation ask themselves. If you had a magic wand you would undoubtedly wish it all away, and make your child healthy, happy and on a forward march to a wonderful life. If only it were that simple. Instead, it will take years of hard work and perseverance to make it through these difficult times.
Thankfully, there are professionals who can help your whole family make it in one piece.
Parents Need More Than A Summer Camp For Their Troubled Teens
To get to a place where you can all begin healing, it is important to know what is truly at risk. Studies have been performed by agencies across the country, mapping and graphing the patterns of teen crime, mental health, and lifestyle choices to get a clear picture of what our youth is doing. There are some statistics that every parent should be aware of from the beginning.
According to surveys, cigarette use is down among teens. However, more high school aged youth than ever are smoking marijuana, at a rate of 22.7%. These modern strains have five times the amount of THC that was used in marijuana products just two decades ago. In addition to marijuana use, prescription drug abuse is on the rise. Prescription drug overdoses among teens now account for more than both cocaine and heroin deaths combined.
Drug abuse is one of many causes of depression in our youth. Suicide rates are shockingly high, and it is this epidemic that is now the second most common death cause for teens in the US. These deaths are in adolescents as young as ten years old. Most teens who attempt suicide exhibit red flags in the months prior. In spite of increased awareness among educators and health professionals, there are thousands of suicide attempts every day from middle to college aged kids.
For those who have criminal histories, studies have shown that there is a high recidivism rate among both teen boys and girls. If your child has committed an offense, there is a high likelihood that they may potentially commit another crime. Trends in the UK, which may reflect similar patterns in the US, show that teens who are spared jail may actually have a higher reoffense rate than those who are sentenced to do time.
Signs Your Teen May Be In Need Of A Therapeutic Boarding School Like Liahona Academy
The best defense against your teenager becoming one of the statistics above is awareness. You should consider the below signs to be red flags of a serious problem:
- Depression - All teenagers go through phases of moroseness, especially at times of high stress, or due to environmental issues. Their changing hormones can further exacerbate their feelings of sadness and frustration. However, prolonged periods of intense sadness, anxiety, apathy, and other related symptoms could be signs of clinical depression, a serious medical condition that has to be treated through professional intervention.
- Suicidal Idealization - Suicide attempts are generally preceded by suicidal idealization. This is when the person in question will glorify the idea of suicide. They may say things such as “The world will be better off without me,” or “No one would even notice that I’m not here.” These may seem like over dramatic declarations, but they could signal a growing risk that your child may hurt themselves.
- Self Injury - If your teenager has been showing signs of self harm, it is time to get them help immediately. Purposefully injuring themselves can both be a cry for help, and an attempt to deal with desperate times of extreme stress and emotion.
- Sudden Changes In Friend Group - Teenagers will frequently find new friends, and having a group grow or change over time isn’t unusual. But when they suddenly stop spending time with people they were with before, and begin to spend all their time with someone else, it may be cause for concern.
- Substance Abuse Problems - Any use of substances such as alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs are dangerous for a teenager’s developing mind. When that use become a necessity, it is time for serious intervention.
- Anger Management Issues - Adolescents may struggle with keeping their temper in check from time to time. But if they are easily frustrated and unable to control themselves, especially if they begin to threaten or intimidate, it is cause for alarm.
- Other Worrying Signs - Violent outbursts, a mental health diagnosis such as ADD/ADHD, personality disorders or OCD, truancy, compulsive lying, irresponsible sexual behavior, and criminal behavior like theft or vandalism are all other potential red flags that could mean a much bigger problem on the horizon.
The Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools Over Summer Camps For Troubled Teens
If your teen is exhibiting any of the above signs, it is time to get help. Summer camps troubled teens can attend provide a stable environment for your child to explore the source of their problems, and learn ways to cope. Professional counselors, both therapeutic and activity, are there to take your teenager through rigorous programs meant to be informative, fun, social, and healing.
These are not boot camps. They are licensed therapeutic programs, similar to therapeutic boarding schools, with an emphasis on activities and the outdoors. Professionals are on hand 24/7 with decades of experience, and the knowledge needed to help your teen through this difficult time. All within a setting with their peers, to make them feel supported as they make new friends facing similar struggles as themselves.
Your family doesn’t have to go through this difficult time alone. You can find out more about summer camps for troubled teens by visiting with us at Liahona Academy.