Extra Moody Teen

I’m a wee bit concerned about my nephew, Jerome. Not to get too heavy about it – from what I can gather, he’s a pretty average fifteen year-old who loves his devices, WiFi and online gaming. What bothers me is that he doesn’t seem to balance this stuff out with physical activities. In particular, I’d like to see him spend more time outside.

This sedentary tendency worsens over the cold months, which is totally understandable, given the cutting sea winds and the fact that it’s dark for so long at this time of year. These factors, though, make it all the more important to try and catch a few rays of winter sun whenever possible.

It’s obviously important for his physical health to pay more attention to this kind of thing, but I’m primarily concerned about his mental wellbeing. He’s become extra moody and withdrawn of late, which I know is pretty normal for a teenager, but I wonder if he’d benefit from talking about it to someone outside our family, like an adolescent psychologist. Mornington must have at least one.

I’m evidently not qualified to say whether Jerome’s symptoms of being unhappy are leading him to spend more time plugged into devices, or if the latter is causing him to be unhappy. Either seems plausible to me, given what I’ve read about things like seasonal affective disorder. Perhaps a mental health professional could successfully figure it out, and provide guidance in a way that he’ll actually take on board.

I know it’s not really my place to weigh in on the matter, and I’m not sure how I’d raise it with my sister. All I know is that, since I got divorced and moved back to Mornington, psychiatric assistance has been quite valuable in helping me sort out my anxiety issues – primarily through the counselling aspect, which has got me sold on looking after my health in general.  

I don’t know – maybe I’m seeing a problem where there isn’t one. But I want Jerome to be healthy and happy, and this seems like a possible pathway for achieving that.