Regression of Adolescent Behavior

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

As a teenager I experienced violent anger which resulted in self mutilation. I spoke with and wrote to a “demon” that I believed was the real me trying to escape. I experienced episodes of increased strength when angry. I lived in a reality where I made up reasons my parents hated me. To this day I still struggle with feelings of acceptance. I drank myself into a more appealing persona and was able to overcome the anger and social issues of my teenage years. However, now that I have quit drinking due to my wanting to be a great mom, it feels like problems keep cascading. I fear that I will return to the mindset of my youth.

A. It makes sense that your problems have returned since they are no longer being suppressed with alcohol. Alcohol served as your emotional suppression strategy but it was a temporary fix.

You’re a mom now and it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself, for the sake of your child. All children need and deserve to have a healthy role model. If you’re having problems, they will invariably impact your child. Now, more than ever, is the time to seek help.

When you were younger, maybe you didn’t have access to help. You concealed your problems perhaps because you didn’t think your parents could help. Maybe you didn’t think they were willing to help but you’re an adult now. As an adult, you have much more power and control over the course of your life. It’s within your power to seek help and that is exactly what you should do.

I would recommend having a psychological evaluation with a mental health professional. When meeting with a mental health professional, you may also want to inquire about medication. Some people find that the combination of medication and psychotherapy work best to maintain psychological stability.

Be proactive. You recognize that your problems are beginning to reemerge and now is the time to take action. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Regression of Adolescent Behavior. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/12/regression-of-adolescent-behavior/