Teenager and Young Adults
Teenager and Young Adults
If underlying mental health or psychological difficulties have not emerged prior to this age, then they are sure to make an appearance at this challenging life stage, affecting both Teenager and Young Adults. Aside from the enormous physical and endocrinal changes the teenager experiences, difficulties with wider relationships in the community, with work or in romantic relationships come into focus with difficulties that can include; relationships and sexual difficulties, body image, gender dysphoria, personality difficulties, mood and emotional difficulties, self-harm, and substance misuse. Risk and safeguarding become more of an issue as this age group may fall between the net of children’s and adult services.
“One in five teenage girls has cut, burned, or poisoned themselves.”
Source, The Children’s Society, 2020
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can also be an effective form of treatment in this age group to target substance abuse in adolescents as well as
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioural treatment. The skills group focuses on how to:
- manage attention (mindfulness skills)
- manage and cope with emotions (emotional regulation skills)
- deal effectively with others (interpersonal skills)
- tolerate emotional distress (distress tolerance skills)
DBT has been adapted for the youth population and is an evidence-based treatment. DBT is especially effective for the following challenges and disorders which present in children in this age range:
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Suicidal thinking or behaviour (suicide attempts)
- Self-injury and other self-destructive behaviours
- Anger and anger management
- Problems with emotions (such as intense sadness or recurrent fear)
- Impulsive behaviours that can be dangerous (such as reckless driving, recurrent unsafe sex, etc.)
- Difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Problems with substance use
- Eating disorders such as bingeing and purging
In Crisis? If you feel you or someone else is at imminent risk there are a number of services and organisations who can help:Go to your local A&E
Call The Police
Contact your local NHS Crisis Team
Contact your local Single Point of Access; this is a relatively new service available in most Trusts aimed to streamline referrals
If you need to talk to someone, there are a number of charitable organisations who can help:
Text THEMIX to 85258 – talking support for young people
Call The Samaritans on 116123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.thecalmzone.net – The Campaign Against Living Miserably, specifically aimed at men under 45.
Call Family Lives on 0808 800 2222 – support for families and parenting.
Childline – 0800 1111.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse you can contact Refuge on their 24 hour helpline 0808 2000247.
Anxiety UK recommends the apple technique in triggering situations:
Acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
Pause – Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Just pause and breath.
Pull back – Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
Let go – Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
Explore – Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.
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