Talking to your adolescent or teenage boy about what is going on in his life is challenging. It can be hard to relate to young boys and get them to open up about their personal lives. The male stereotype too heavily emphasizes strength as perfection and a qualification of being male. Males of all ages feel that they cannot ask for help or admit that they are struggling with something like their mental health because they don’t want to feel inadequate. Everyone struggles. Teenage boys need to know they are not alone and that many other boys their age are struggling with similar issues. Here are some of the issues teenage boys are facing that they don’t want to talk to you about, because they don’t know how.
Teenage boys are exposed to violence as much as girls are. Due to the hyper masculine stigma many boys have to face, there is a need to be tough, macho, and aggressive. Sports, video games, and other male-dominated activities include aggression displayed through physical violence. Shown that males can only act out their emotional energy through anger, aggression and rage, boys might experience violence from others or act violently themselves. Talking about violence is hard for teenage boys to do because they often do not understand the emotions beneath the violent behaviors. If young boys are the victims of violence, they may not want to talk about it out of shame– shame that they cannot stand up for or take care of themselves as men.
Experimentation with drugs and alcohol is common in adolescence for boys and girls. Addiction can happen quickly when boys are adolescents because the developing brain is particularly susceptible to addiction. For boys, substance abuse can be a form of coping, to deal with other issues in their life, which may include a mental health condition. As part of the “male” identity, boys have a need to compete and to prove themselves worthy of being around other males. Substance abuse may start as a bonding ritual or a means of survival in their social circles. However addiction starts, it can quickly get out of control. Talking about addiction means that a teenage boy must admit he cannot take care of himself and he has lost control over this area in his life.
Boys are not as likely as girls to develop depression in adolescence, recent research has found. However, they do still develop depression, along with other mental health conditions. When mental health conditions go under the radar, teenage boys are left to cope on their own, which can lead them to impulsive behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse. Mood and anxiety disorders are common among young boys. Teenage boys can also experience eating disorders, body dysmorphia and ADD/ADHD.
At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, all of our boys become a family upon which they can rely for support, encouragement and confidence. Our residential treatment programs serve as a temporary home for adolescent and teenage boys struggling with substance use. Located in the remote hillsides of Northern Mississippi, our beautiful 62 acre estate offers the lush experience of nature with the removal of urban temptations. For information on our programs, call us today: 662-598-4214.