Lots of frequently asked questions can be found at my blog page

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I tell if my teenager is experiencing anxiety ?

Your teenager will be overly tired as the first thing to suffer is the ability to go to bed and get to sleep, also the feeling of anxiety is depleting so eventually your teenager will present as depressed. He/she will avoid doing the things they previously were involved in. Your teenager may isolate themselves.

How can I tell if my teenager is depressed ?

This is a difficult one as the presenting behaviour is an exaggerated version of teenage angst and hormones. They lose motivation to involve themselves in anything, they start to internally question and wonder what their life purpose is.. They nap a lot and sleep in. They are uncomfortable on any outing and want to return home quickly. Tearful and frequent crying with intermittent bursts of anger.

How long does it take for CAMHS referral ?

The wait currently is around 20 weeks, not all teenagers who are referred meet the threshold for help, meaning their problem is not severe enough.

What are my first steps if my teenager can't attend school due to anxiety?

Ask for a meeting with Pastoral staff to explain the situation. Also request that the Special Educational needs department explore with your teenager and yourself what they find difficult and distressing about being in school. You may uncover that your child has a learning barrier or be experiencing social anxiety. 

What can my teenager learn to have better friendships and relationships?

Self esteem - What is healthy self esteem, building resilience, peer pressure and how perfectionism hinders instead of helps. To learn an assertive sense of self and what if the worse case scenario does happen, how do we build our coping capacity. To learn boundaries: relationships/friendships - what is your 'stuff' and what is theirs, Understanding boundaries and recognising the emotional vampires.

 What does the future hold for my teenager if they are experiencing a mental health problem now ?

10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.4. For a young person with symptoms of a mental disorder, the earlier treatment is started the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe, lasting problems as a child grows up. Building resilience is important. 

What can I do as a parent to support my teenager to share their feelings?

Give them a supported neutral space, try not to be to questioning, Car journeys are a good time as their is no direct eye contact. Don't try and find answers to their feelings and problems. Try to listen to understand.