Teens, anxiety, and depression.

In her TedTalk,Teen Brains Are Not Broken, Rosalinde Kaiser, PhD, details how teens experience a convergence of three major developmental phases — all at the same time.  

  1. Self regulation: For the first time in life, teens are thinking and feeling about how to regulate their nervous systems.  They may struggle to learn how to regulate their nervous systems and emotions as stressful events arise in their lives.  When we struggle to manage our nervous systems, emotions can run the show, leading to anxiety, depression, or a range of other mental health challenges.
  2. Functional Brain Networks: As puberty begins, a rush of hormones and other chemicals impact how different parts of the brain communicate with each other.  This too can lead to a host of mental health challenges and sometimes a sense of thriving in life gets lost in translation between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
     
  3. Social Changes and Transition to Independence: Despite being inherently social creatures, human relationships are quite complex. For the first time, teens are learning to manage their social lives and learning how to integrate social dynamics.  If teens don’t experience having their social needs aren’t met, again mental health issues can arise.  

There is good news if your teen is struggling with depression and anxiety: both of these mental health issues can be treated.  Please reach out to see if I am a good fit to support your teen.  I would like to help your teen learn how to manage their developing brain, nervous system, and social relationships.