Signs your young person may need help

Written by Dr. RJ

  |  Reviewed by Jen Bell

There are several red flags that caregivers can look for in their young people, which might reveal that they need help with improving their self-esteem and/or body image. Mennicke et al. (2021) writes that adolescents usually encounter changes in temperament and mood when experiencing low self-esteem, and that everybody is vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed or sad at times.

Walsh & Glasofer (2020) found that the following signs may indicate an adolescent requires assistance or is struggling with their mental health (e.g., self-esteem, body image, self-worth).

  • Dramatic shifts and changes in their eating habits
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of concern for and interest in daily normal activities
  • Changes in a youth’s personality — especially if they become more aggressive, withdrawn, and/or angry

Other red flags which might indicate depression include:

  • Tears and excessive moodiness
  • Irritability and anger
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism
  • Shifts in patterns of sleep
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm (especially cutting)
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Feelings of helplessness or worthlessness

It’s also important to watch out for body image issues, unexplained pains and aches, social isolation and peer group abandonment, secrecy, and isolation from members of the family.