Apathy is often a symptom of being a teenager. With that said, it is cause for concern if a teenager shows absolutely no emotion.
This lack of emotion may happen as a result of your teen shutting down. Make sure your teen’s lack of emotion isn’t a warning sign.
Is it normal for my teenage son not to show emotion?
If your teen shows no emotion, they may be angry or depressed, but you’ll never know until you talk to them.
Make a habit of having open conversations with your child. While they may not be overly-excited to talk to you, you can gauge their behavior this way.
Depression can cause teenagers to shut down emotionally. What you may attribute to another factor of adolescence could be a sign of depression.
Parents need to learn how to recognize these signs of depression to better help their children. Teen depression isn’t just moodiness. These serious health issues will impact every facet of your teen’s life.
Teens with depression often exhibit a lack of emotion. In addition to this, they may experience trouble in school and a habit of reckless behavior. Depression can put your teen on a fast track to other mental health issues and habits including self-harm.
What do I do if my son has depression?
There may be no real reason for your teen’s depression. If your son has depression, it’s important to address this as soon as possible. Let your teen know that you understand how they’re feeling and it’s okay to be this way.
While you should be there emotionally for your child, make sure they have access to outside help. Take your child to see a therapist to help them deal with these difficult issues.
Depression won’t disappear immediately. A licensed therapist can help them work through their mental health problems over time.
Is my teenager hiding things?
Another reason your teen son may show zero emotion is that they’re secretive. Whether they’re engaging in bad behavior or are simply keeping quiet, teens often hide things from their parents.
Address your son’s lack of emotion by making sure your teen is able to talk to you. Many teens are afraid their parents will judge them. For example, many teens are learning to accept who they are. If they feel as though their parents won’t, they may act distant around them.
Similarly, teenagers may feel shameful of how they feel. Help your son understand there’s nothing for him to worry about.
How can I make my teen feel comfortable?
Getting your teen to show their true feelings isn’t always easy. Let your teen know you’re comfortable talking about anything by speaking up about their interests. For example, if your teen is an advocate for certain issues, help them understand you care about these topics as well.
In addition to creating a judgment-free zone, let your child know you’re always ready to hear them out. Taking the time to listen to your teen will help them see their opinions are important. Choose a time each day to talk with your teen. This time is an important way to connect with your child as they grow up.
Red flags for at-risk teens
Showing no emotion may be the tip of the iceberg. If you’re not sure your teen is at-risk, make sure to watch out for tell-tale red flags.
In addition to their emotionless state, at-risk teenagers often sleep excessively and isolate themselves. Other signs include changes in personality and a shift in their eating habits. As these signs are often coupled with depression, your teen may be in trouble. If you notice that your child exhibits these signs, it’s time to step in and help.
If your teen doesn’t show emotion, there’s likely a valid reason why. Make sure your teen feels comfortable speaking to you about their concerns. With the right emotional support and a safe environment, you’ll help your teen open up a bit more.