What Teen Guilt Symptoms May Mean
Some parents do not realize that guilt can stand in the way of accomplishing things in life, and use guilt as a tool to control their children’s behavior. A child with a hyperactive conscience will certainly have the tendency to do as they are told, earning the label of an obedient child.
However, excessive or false guilt is not healthy. A teen carrying a load of excessive guilt risks developing low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. To prevent guilt from impairing your child’s life and future, understand more about what guilt symptoms may mean, so you can act on them early.
Is This Your Adolescent Child?
Adolescence is a difficult stage, and many teenagers behave in unusual ways. This is the reason why their behaviors may be perceived as “being teens.” But when your teenager is exhibiting extreme signs of low self-esteem—keeping their head down to avoid eye contact, being hypercritical or using a lot of negative words about themselves, apologizing constantly, and/or perpetually avoiding people and social events—take notice; they may be experiencing excessive guilt.
Note that as a defense mechanism, your child may instead show the opposite behavior in an attempt to feel good inside. They may bully and look down on other people. They may engage in teasing, gossiping, or bragging about their accomplishments. They may talk in a loud voice to attract attention.
Why Does Your Teen Need Your Help?
Guilt can be a stumbling block on the path to a healthy, productive life. Over time, it can contribute to your child’s low self-esteem and negativity, which in turn can breed or reinforce depression or anxiety.
Saddled with the weight of false guilt, your teen may fear making decisions that are important to achieving their life goals. When they are afraid of being criticized, they may fail to learn how to make rational decisions or stand by their actions. They may spend their life pleasing others, spending too much time on the needs of others rather than their own, and tiring themselves out in the process. They may also become too sensitive, hurting themselves most of the time and seeing only the negative aspects of everything.
Reading the Signs Properly to Provide the Right Help
Perceiving your child’s behavior as “just being a teen” may prevent you from recognizing that they are going through real issues. This can unduly delay attention and help. If they are showing guilt symptoms, validate your suspicion about whether these are silent pleas for help—contact Carolina Counseling Services in Fuquay-Varina, NC for an appointment.
The symptoms of guilt can mean so much worse. The best way to know what is bothering your teen child is to get their symptoms properly assessed by a qualified therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Fuquay-Varina. If you would love to see your child enjoying their teen life, make that call now.
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