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Adolescence is a phase filled with challenges for every child, whether adopted or not. This phase entails rapid physical and mental changes. Along with new opportunities, it also heralds a greater sense of responsibility in teens as they feel immense pressure to excel academically as well as athletically, while conforming to peer-group norms. This is a crucial period for teens as they explore themselves and start questioning and developing their self-identity.

The self-identity development process entails finding out the details of an individual’s family origins along with one’s past history. Adopted children usually harbor passionate feelings pertaining to their identity. These feelings tend to intensify during adolescence, testing the limits of their friends and families. However, it is not necessary that every adopted child would have behavioral issues. But when such issues do show up, it is important to respond to them compassionately and in an appropriate manner.

Destructive Externalization in Adopted Teens and Adolescents

It is observed that adopted teens or adolescents internalize negative emotions, leading to self-destructive behavior. While it is important for the individuals of this age group to externalize negative emotions, it needs to be channelized in a healthy manner. For instance, indulging in sports or writing songs are some positive ways of channelizing healthy externalization. However, when adolescents exhibit destructive externalization, it calls for immediate professional help.

Parents and guardians of such adolescents need to be vigilant to detect traces of destructive externalization. Some of the signs and symptoms that one can look out to identify such traits may include:

  • Loss of interest in daily routine activities
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Alcohol, drug, or any other substance abuse
  • Traces of violent behavior
  • Landing into troublesome situations
  • Falling grades at school
  • Failure to meet social or family responsibilities

When adopted teens display such behavior, it is normal for parents or guardians to feel angry, frustrated, and hopeless. This especially happens when their efforts to reform them are met with rejection. At such a juncture, families need the support of an objective person who can guide their teens properly. When such adopted teens or adolescents receive appropriate treatment, it helps them transition out of their negative zone and behavioral patterns to emerge as positive individuals.

Co-occurring Disorders in Adopted Teens and Adolescents

Families of adopted teens and adolescents often may not be aware of underlying co-occurring problems. Owing to childhood trauma, family history of mental illness, or history of abuse, the behavioral symptoms of such teens may worsen at times. Sometimes families may not be aware of their teens abusing alcohol or drugs. All such issues can be identified at the time of admission and addressed during treatment. Any behavioral problems can also be concurrently treated to ensure long-lasting recovery of the teen.

Treatment at ADEONA Healthcare

The professional adolescent treatment teams at ADEONA Healthcare in Rancho San Diego work with patients and their families to accurately assess and treat the core problem. Starting with pre-admission and assessment, they help in treating any co-occurring disorders. The Rancho San Diego team at ADEONA Healthcare comprises of trained caregivers for adopted adolescents and teens. They are well equipped to understand and cater to their unique needs sensitively and compassionately, so that both the family and the teen can get over their feelings of guilt and shame and move into a healthy future together.

Using evidence-based modalities, ADEONA Healthcare provides age-appropriate and developmentally sensitive treatment to young patients. Additional modalities, such as group and family psychotherapy, process groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), facilitated peer-to-peer support, cognitive remediation, life skills training, relapse prevention, lifestyle management and more, are also offered.

Facilitated by specialized therapists, ADEONA Healthcare also offers experiential therapy in the form of art, meditation, and yoga. Our teen patients are encouraged to participate in recreational activities, sports, games, field trips to local events and internal socializing to boost their confidence and build their personalities simultaneously.

Why Choose ADEONA Healthcare?

ADEONA Healthcare at Rancho San Diego is a pioneer in the treatment of teens and adolescents with mental illness, behavioral disorders, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis. Our team of specialized professionals work together collaboratively to address the needs and goals of our young patients and their families.

If you are a parent of an adopted teen with any kind of mental illness or behavioral issues, you can learn more about the treatment plans offered by ADEONA Healthcare by calling our 24/7 helpline (888) 997-3966. In case you need immediate assistance, you can chat online with our admission counselor.

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