5 Steps to Take to Keep Your Troubled Teen From Spiraling

We are both privileged and plagued to live in such a remarkable time in human history. The novel Coronavirus and worldwide civil unrest reflect generations of systemic racism and oppression in the United States. All of this is to say that teens already live busy lives with demanding schedules. Some balance school with work, sports, or other extracurricular activities that interest them. They are coming of age in a time so challenging for us all, and it’s difficult to know how teens are processing and trying to understand the times in which they live. To help you and your family see your way through this trying time, here are five steps to take to keep your troubled teen from spiraling.



If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: “You are what you eat.” Well, as it turns out, there may be more to this cliché than you think. It is clear to researchers, chefs, and taste testers alike that the color of your food affects your mood.

If you and your teen are begrudgingly making it through quarantine, try serving up a fruit plate at lunch with oranges, pineapple, bananas, and kiwi if these are to your liking. If not, try to incorporate as much color as possible and observe the result in your mood. For sustained results, the incorporation of healthy eating and a nutrient-dense diet is the place to start.


Physical Activity

All things considered, we understand that this could be a tough one, especially if you live in a densely populated city amidst the shutdowns and social distancing. Nonetheless, we encourage you and your teen to get active. Yoga is often lauded for its potential to greatly enhance the lives of its practitioners. Effectively, yoga is a form of physical meditation. It teaches you to breathe and relax in observance of inner peace while also physically conditioning you. Many teachers on YouTube can guide you through yogic exercises and mindfulness to help you deal with stress.

Outdoor activity such as jogging or hiking pair well with sunlight and work wonders on your mood as well. If your teen is a bit inactive, try to encourage them by asking them to join you in these new experiences because camaraderie is great for morale. On the other hand, if your teen is generally active but you’ve observed some lethargy and lack of interest, check-in and have a conversation to see if you can help them rediscover their spirit. Challenging your daughter the ballplayer to a game of one on one in the driveway could be a great way to get her back in the swing of things.



If you’re observing behavior in your teen that you think is putting them in danger, medication prescribed by a professional is an option. A psychiatrist will tell you that medication is paired best with therapy as to best review the effects of the prescription and address any underlying mental or emotional issues. Critically, anti-depressants have been known to at times have adverse effects on patients. Surely, you’ve seen the commercials. Because of this, pay extra close attention to your child’s reactions to all medications.



Spiritualityis an abstract concept with room for many views. In general, it can incorporate a sense of bond to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for purpose in life. As such, it is a universal personal experience—something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent, or simply a deep sense of peace. Some may find that their spiritual life is intricately linked to their association with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue. Others may pray or find comfort in a personal relationship with a higher power. Still, others seek meaning through their connections to nature or art. Perhaps encouraging your teen to explore their own faith will help them gain a stronger sense of self and a stronger connection to the world around them.


Residential Treatment Centers For Troubled Teens

If you find that you’ve exhausted and at the end of your wits, a residential program for troubled youth might be your saving grace. At Polaris, teens are treated with respect and cared for as individuals. The professionals at Polaris are able to afford each child and family the best-individualized care because they keep their caseloads low. Overall, families and patients benefit from proven, evidence-based treatments. These treatments help begin building their new foundation of lasting recovery. Each client is different. Polaris utilizes multiple therapeutic modalities and highly personalized care. This approach helps improve outcomes and reduce the chance of relapse. The goal is to reduce or eliminate the root cause of destructive behavior. This is achieved by providing troubled adolescents with lasting recovery. This includes foundational tools they can use for the rest of their lives.

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