TEEN BEHAVIOR THAT CAUSES CONCERN - homeopathy360
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TEEN BEHAVIOR THAT CAUSES CONCERN


ABSTRACT
Teens go through a series of emotional and physical changes that can result in baffling behavior. Knowing what is normal and what is not can help parents spot emerging mental health issues.
Your child turns into an alien about the time she turns 12 or 13. Not only are you, as a parent, baffled by these new behaviors, but your teen is also frequently baffled and alarmed at the new thoughts and feelings she is experiencing.
The homeopathic constitutional approach can help in resolving teenage problems associated with physical and emotional stress. Homeopathic remedies precisely act at the level of mind and body together, to offset emotional disruptions such as anxiety, anger, insecurity, obsessive traits, jealousy, paranoia, depression, neurosis, etc.
 “I can confidently assert, from great experience, that the vast superiority of the homoeopathic system over all other conceivable methods of the treatment is nowhere displayed in a more triumphant light than in mental and emotional diseases of long standing,
(Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine, § 230)
Introduction
It is not uncommon for parents to wonder whether their child is acting like a normal teenager or behaving differently due to mental illness, drug use or behavioral difficulties. Normal teenagers are often moody due to hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty. However, when mental illness is involved, it may be difficult to differentiate “normal teenage behavior” from the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties. [1,2]
Teenagers may be short-tempered and get angry easily, especially when they begin to naturally separate from the family and feel they do not have enough distance or privacy. The natural process of separation begins in early adolescence; this is when parents see that their child begins to be embarrassed by them and spends increasing amounts of time with friends and very little time with the family. You may be worried that your teenager spends hours on end on the computer or locked in his or her room chatting on the phone and gets defensive when asked what he or she is doing or who he or she is talking to. This type of behaviour is normal. Teenagers need to naturally separate in order to gain their independence in early adulthood and often react defensively in order to attain this goal. During this time, you should be able to see that even though your teenager may cringe at spending quality time with the family, he or she is still able to enjoy time with friends and engage in healthy social and extracurricular activities outside of the home. If you see that your teen is not engaging in other activities or with friends and is chronically disconnected, angry and sad, this is when the behavior becomes abnormal and requires intervention.  [3,4]
The short story of puberty is that at some point in a child’s growth—usually between the ages of 12-15—the brain begins releasing gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a hormone that spurs the pituitary gland to release two more hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). For boys, LH and FSH then begin stimulating the production of testosterone. For girls, the same two hormones begin stimulating the production of estrogen. As the reproductive organs begin to mature, both boys and girls start experiencing physical changes as well as emotional changes.
This rush of hormones and the emerging physical changes signals the progression of the child into an adult—at least physically. In cultures of the past (and in some cultures still existing throughout the world), the onset of puberty means that the child has become an adult, capable of being entrusted with the tasks of contributing to the larger community and becoming part of a new family unit, including bearing and raising children with a spouse. Modern American teens, however, find themselves existing in a sort of limbo, caught between childhood and adulthood for around six years.
While the teen years allow your child to gain more of an education and to become familiar with the responsibilities she will take on as an adult, it’s also a time when mental health issues can begin to surface. Early diagnosis and treatment can help teens overcome the issues or learn to cope with them in a healthy way as they grow into adults.
Part of early diagnosis knows what teen behaviors are normal and which are not. The following chart can help parents observe their teen’s behavior and decide when they need to call on the appropriate mental health professionals should mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, behavioral disorders, or conduct disorders appear to be emerging. [3,4,5]

TABLE: COMPARISON BETWEEN NORMAL BEHAVIOR AND ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR

Normal Teen Behavior Teen Behavior that Causes Concern
Wanting to spend more time with peers and less time with family Not wanting to spend time with either family or friends, i.e. shunning all social activity
Reluctance to get up early for school Absolute refusal to attend school—especially if this behavior happens suddenly and accompanies other signs of distress or depression
Needing more sleep or developing a larger appetite during growth spurts Sudden changes in energy levels, i.e. sleeping abnormally long or not being able to sleep at all; sudden changes in appetite, i.e. consistent overeating or under-eating accompanied by quick fluctuations in weight
Sadness and anxiety following fights with friends or a breakup with a boy/girlfriend Sadness and anxiety that doesn’t correct itself or decrease in intensity after a few days to a couple weeks.
Some light risk-taking or experimenting with sex, alcohol, drugs, or self-harming behaviors such as cutting Extremely risky behavior and/or delinquent behavior, including disregard for house rules, parents’ concerns, or laws of society; turning to cutting as a form of emotional and physical release
Turning to a beloved pet for comfort instead of a parent or friend Deliberately harming family pets or torturing or killing any animal
Worrying about physical appearance and trying to fit in Sudden and significant changes in eating behaviors, over-exercising, and other indications of eating disorders

 
While the above is not by any means an exhaustive list, these are some of the most common types of behaviors that can indicate whether or not your teen is progressing as normally as possible through adolescence.
If your teen’s behavior is making you concerned, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional counselor or therapist who specializes in teen behavior. homeopathy play important role in mental diseases and adolescent behavior, offering teenagers and their parents cope with mental health issues that may arise during adolescence. [1]
Here are some things that you may observe in your teen that will help to decipher the difference between mental illness and normal teenage behaviour.
Some concerning behaviors  [7,8,9]

  • Decrease in enjoyment and time spent with friends and family
    • Significant decrease in school performance
    • Strong resistance to attending school or absenteeism
    • Problems with memory, attention or concentration
    • Big changes in energy levels, eating or sleeping patterns
    • Physical symptoms (stomach aches, headaches, backaches)
    • Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, anxiety, crying often
    • Frequent aggression, disobedience or lashing out verbally
    • Excessive neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
    • Substance abuse
    • Dangerous or illegal thrill-seeking behaviour
    • Is overly suspicious of others
    • Sees or hears things that others do not

Homeopathic approach to behavior disorder:  [2,3,4,5]
Conventional management for abnormal behavior works towards suppressing the symptoms rather than permanently treating them. The homeopathic approach, on the other hand, arouses the patient’s inherent capability to reinstate balance and can both manage symptoms and prevent relapse. Homeopathy acknowledges the psychological basis of somatic symptoms. The constitutional approach is a unique traditional modus operandi, which takes into account a person’s overall nature, individual qualities, and outlook towards life. Homeopathic remedies help stabilize the patient’s mood and reduce the frequency and intensity of manic and depressive episodes. The homeopathic approach can assist your teenager in appreciating him or herself better; it can rebuild the teen’s self-esteem, which will further facilitate adjustment to stress and improving the teen’s social relationships. Homeopathic remedies naturally facilitate the body’s ability to restore itself to a healthy state of balance. The remedies stimulate the patient’s system and regulate the production of serotonin and adrenaline, which are responsible for mood swings, anxiety, restlessness, and depression.
Here are some remedies for anxiety and stress.
Argentum nitricum (Arg-n) — This remedy is indicated when anxiety develops before a big event (ie. an interview for a job, an exam, a public speech, social engagement, marriage, etc.).
Symptoms: Emotional upset; Fear; Anxiety; Extended periods of unusual or continued mental exertion; Dizziness; Diarrhea; Craving for sweets and salt; Craving for strong flavours. This type of person is enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency toward peculiar thoughts and impulses.
Arsenicum album (Arsenicum, Ars) — This remedy is recommended for people who are deeply anxious about their health, and extremely concerned with order and security. Panic attacks often occur around midnight or the very early hours of the morning. The person may feel exhausted yet still be restless – fidgeting, pacing, and anxiously moving from place to place. These people may also have digestive problems or asthma attacks accompanied by anxiety. They are typically obsessive about small details and very neat. They may feel a desperate need to be in control of everything.
Calcarea Carbonica (Calc) — People who benefit most from this remedy have a chilly constitution. The slightest cold “goes right through them.” They have trouble keeping themselves warm. They have a craving for sweets, and are easily fatigued. They are dependable, solid people who become overwhelmed from physical illness or too much work and start to fear a breakdown. Their thoughts can be muddled and confused when tired, which adds to the anxiety. Worry and bad news may agitate them, and a nagging dread of disaster (to themselves or others) may develop. Fear of heights and claustrophobia are also common.
Gelsemium (Gels) — This remedy is indicated when you have feelings of weakness, trembling, and mental dullness (being “paralyzed by fear”). It is also useful when a person experiences anxiety about an upcoming event such as stage-fright about a public performance or interview, or anxiety before a test, impending visit to the dentist, etc. Chills, perspiration, diarrhea, and headaches will often occur with nervousness. Fear of crowds, a fear of falling, and even a fear that the heart might stop are other indications for Gelsemium.
Ignatia amara (Ignatia, Ign) — A sensitive person who is anxious because of grief, loss, disappointment, criticism, loneliness (or any stressful emotional experience) may benefit from this remedy. The primary factor for this remedy is emotional stress, especially disappointment or grief. Other indications are a defensive attitude, frequent sighing, and mood swings. The person may burst unexpectedly into either tears or laughter.
Kali phosphoricum— Indicated when a person has been exhausted by overwork or illness. Feels a deep anxiety and inability to cope. Jumpy and oversensitive. May be startled by ordinary sounds. Hearing unpleasant news or thinking of world events can aggravate the problems. Insomnia and an inability to concentrate may develop, increasing the sense of nervous dread. Eating, warmth, and rest often bring relief.
Lycopodium— Lycopodium patients attempt to cover an inner sense of inadequacy by putting up fronts, by pretending to be something they are not. They feel anxiety from mental stress and suffer from a lack of confidence. They can be self conscious and intimidated by people they perceive as powerful. They can feel a deep anxiety and fear of failure, when they take on responsibility. They usually do well, once started on a task.
Natrum muriaticum— The primary candidates for this remedy are personally aloof but have a social conscience and a desire to help others. Deep emotions and a self-protective shyness can make these people seem reserved, aloof, and private. Even when feeling lonely, they tend to stay away from social situations, not knowing what to say or do. Easily hurt and offended, they can brood, bear grudges, dwell on unhappy feelings, and isolate themselves. They refuse consolation even when they want it. They are often sympathetic listeners to other people’s problems. Claustrophobia, anxiety at night, migraines, and insomnia are often seen when this remedy is needed.
Another area of stress for which I am frequently consulted, is that of school in general. Younger children may be unhappy at school for various reasons: they may be being bullied, they may have a very strict teacher of whom they are scared, and they may have difficulty making friends. Here presenting a similar case treated successfully with homoeopathy.
Case of Anxiety neurosis:
A girl, aged 13, was referred to my clinic with a unusual symptoms in the setting of an anxiety state.
Her mother noticed that her child’s behavior towards them is changed and since 2-3 months her irritability increased markedly. When she gets irritable she shouts on them, and close herself in another room. She uses to Bangs the door when angry. Her anger remains for 1-2 days, unless father console her.
Her mother added that, she had develop irritability while doing routine work, she does not care for school timing, wasting her time in cleaning bathroom, always take new soap for bath and playing with water.     She becomes obstinate in her behaviour and demands various things.
According to mother patient gets irritable during contradiction. She does not like the environment of family because they give excessive pressure on children.
In school she used to get irritable because all her friends would tease her that you are Mad. She is good in studies scored 80-90% in school; given exam for scholarship and since that time she developed irritability. She has fear of teachers. She has fear of getting scolding from teacher as she does not do her home work.
She has fear of stranger, does not get easily mix up with anyone. She also had occasionally frightful dreams which she cannot recollect. She always remain worried about trifles.
Physical generals:
Perspiration: General, Scanty
Appetite: decreased
Thirst: decreased
Aversions: Sweets
Cravings: Fish
Dreams: Frightful
Thermally: Sensitive to cold open air+
Family History: No major illness in family             
Clinical diagnosis: Anxiety neurosis
Case Structure:
DISPOSITION OF PATIENT:

  • mind; IRRITABILITY; children, in (68)
  • mind; PSYCHOLOGICAL themes; anxiety, fear (903)
  • mind; OBSTINATE, headstrong (206)
  • mind; FASTIDIOUS (103)

CAUSATION A/F: A/F anticipatory anxiety
EMOTIONAL FACTORS:

  • mind; ANTICIPATION; ailments from, agg.; mental and emotional consequences of (186)
  • mind; ANGER; contradiction, from (66)
  • mind; SENSITIVE, oversensitive; reprimands, criticism, reproaches, to (80)
  • mind; FEAR; strangers, of (29)
  • mind; IRRITABILITY; children, in (68)
  • mind; DREAMS; frightful, nightmare (469)

PHYSICAL GENRAL:

  • generalities; FOOD and drinks; sweets; aversion (80)
  • generalities; FOOD and drinks; fish; desires (60)
  • generalities; AIR; cold; agg. (526)

Totality:

  • mind; ANTICIPATION; ailments from, agg.; mental and emotional consequences of (186)
  • mind; ANGER; contradiction, from (66)
  • mind; SENSITIVE, oversensitive; reprimands, criticism, reproaches, to (80)
  • mind; FEAR; strangers, of (29)
  • mind; IRRITABILITY; children, in (68)
  • mind; DREAMS; frightful, nightmare (469)
  • generalities; FOOD and drinks; sweets; aversion (80)
  • generalities; FOOD and drinks; fish; desires (60)
  • generalities; AIR; cold; agg. (526)

 
REPERTORIZATION  [13]

Remedy Given – By above understanding, Lycopodium – 200 one dose
Follow Up. After single dose of medicine, changes were notices like, her irritability reduces regarding going to school and daily routine, even her anxiety was also better. She can face teacher and not worried about future and she is doing her homework.

Conclusion:

Anticipatory anxiety in patient which was installed when she was about to appear in her scholarship exam, since then she has started anxiety before going to school leading to decreased capacity and performance further which develop in to fear and irritability. Even the anger aspect of the patient has its origin in the anxiety as she was anxious before going to school. Her irritability which leads to her haughtiness was also an expression of her hidden anxiety. At the end we can conclude that homoeopathy has better role in such case. Like this all sorts of other situations that can be helped by homeopathy, such as fear of flying, going for interviews, public speaking and appearing on the stage.
References:

  1. American Psychiatric Association: Defense Levels and Individual Defense Mechanisms. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Washington D.C, 1994:75
  2. Homoeopathic psychology Philip bailey
  3. J. T, Repertory of the Homoeopathic MateriaMedica, Fourth Indian Edition, Reprint Edition: August 2008, I.B.P.P.
  4. Sadock and Sadock, 2009, “Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry”, 9th Edition,
  5. Boericke W. G., Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Reprint Edition: January 2007, I.B.P.P.
  6. Hahnemann Samuel, 2004, “Organon of Medicine”, 6th edition, Edited by William Boericke, IBPP.
  7. Homeopathic Medicine for Mental Health Trevor Smith
  8. Essence of Materia Medica George Vithoulkas
  9. Sadock Benjamin James, Sadock Virginia Alcott, Ruiz Pedro(Eds),  Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams and Wilkins / Health, Vol 2, Chapter 42, pg,  Chapter 43.
  10. Miklowitz, D.J. George, E. (2008) The Bipolar Teen; What You Can Do to Help Your Child and Your Family.
  11. Mondimore, F.M. (2002) Adolescent Depression; A Guide for Parents.
  12. http://www.mental-health-matters.com
  13. Mac repertory

Author: Dr Atul Rajgurav M.D. (Hom.)
 
 
 

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