Severe escalation: Any problematic behavior by your child has become more intense. Maybe they used to get angry, but retreat to their room; now they’re punching holes in walls and appearing threatening. They used to get out of bed with some urging, but now refuse altogether. They used to dabble in alcohol and marijuana, but now you suspect they are experimenting with harder drugs.
Constantly changing goals: They can’t seem to stick with any plan. They enroll in the local college, then stop attending after a few weeks. They get a job, but then quit after a few shifts. Any discussion of planning for the future is deflected or escalates to an argument.
Peer group: They are starting to hang out with friends who seem to be poor influences, such as drug users, or, in some cases, appear to be taking advantage. If your child has a car, they are out driving friends around, or you suspect your child is giving money to friends.
Lack of outpatient progress: Your child is seeing a therapist or psychologist regularly on an outpatient basis, but does not seem to be making any significant progress.
Your stress level: You are losing confidence in your ability to control the situation, and find yourself struggling with sleep and at work yourself. The stress of constantly verifying information and following up on your child’s behavior is wearing on you.