When most parents think their teenage girl is an addict, they immediately think drugs and alcohol, but that’s not always the case. There are many other addictions that teenage girls are involved with that you need to be aware of, so you can approach the situation appropriately.
Here, we review some of the more common addictions of teen girls. Then, we invite your questions, comments or feedback about teen addiction at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all questions with a personal and prompt reply.
Teen girl addiction #1: Exercise addiction
Problem: Healthy eating and exercising are discussed in schools now more than ever. Since adolescents gain weight during this stage of development, they can start to feel as though they are overweight, even if they are not. This can lead them to exercise addiction to burn the calories they are eating. Those with an exercise addiction are more likely to have an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa.
How to address it: When you notice your teen losing weight, counting calories, and exercising every chance she gets, have a talk with her. She may not tell you much, but remind her that she is attractive and that adolescence is a time in which the body goes through changes. You can encourage a healthy lifestyle, but warn her going overboard can have serious side effects.
Teen girl addiction #2: Internet addiction
Problem: Four in ten teenage girls are addicted to the Internet. While you may not think this is as bad of a problem as drugs, alcohol, and sex, but it can be because it interferes in schoolwork and socializing. This can lead to learning difficulties and problems in social situations, which could hamper their success later in life.
How to address it: Teen internet addiction is real and can become serious. Help your teen identify the addiction by pointing out the time spent online, and then take steps to reduce that time gradually.
Teen girl addiction #3: Sex addiction
Problem: It’s difficult to be a teenage girl. The will to be accepted matters in adolescence. With all of the changes in girls’ bodies, they can make their self-esteem plummet. Becoming sexually promiscuous boosts some girls’ confidence, which is why some become addicts of it.
How to address it: Help your teen by talking to her about her skills and talents. Let her know you love her and you’re proud of everything she is doing in her life. Tell her she is beautiful regularly. These are all ways she can get the attention she’s craving at this stage of her life.
Teen girl addiction #4: Prescription Drug Addiction
Problem: Many teenage girls abuse prescription drugs because they are easily accessible from family members and friends and they don’t believe they are as bad as illegal drugs. However, teen drug abuse stats are connected to outcomes such as addiction, overdose, and even death.
How to address it: If you think your teen is addicted to prescription drugs, you should put away all of your medications. You should then bring it up to her keeping in mind that she will likely not admit it. Simply voice your concerns and tell her that you want to help her with it. If she refuses to confess, just keep your eye on her and when the opportunity arises, express you concern and willingness to help again. While drug testing your teen is not recommended, it may be suitable for some very difficult situations.
Addiction is addiction …
Addiction is serious, no matter what it is. If you’re unable to help your teen girl, you may need a professional. There is help out there for her, so reach for it and use it to save her life.