A new behavior for teenage and tween girls has been identified by an adolescent psychologist. The behavior that has been identified is called "Camouflaging." This behavior left unidentified can lead to low self-esteem, depression, cutting etc.
Camouflaging is when an adolescent girl changes how she looks, her opinions or things that she does in order to be accepted by the other girls. The real problem occurs when the girl is changing so much about herself or does it for so long that she forgets or losses track of her real self.
As a result, she starts acting like someone she is not just to be accepted. This fear of not being accepted and forgetting her real self because she has been covering it up for so long or denying her true feelings for so long can result in the girl having low self-esteem or feeling depressed.
This low self-esteem and depression can result in such behaviors as cutting or an eating disorder. Often girls cut just so they can feel. The constant denying of their emotions can cause girls to lose a sense of their true feelings. Therefore, cutting can occur so girls feel. Denying their feeling or who they are can result is girls feeling very confused. Therefore, they look for behaviors that help them remember who they are and help them identify their true feelings. They also seek behaviors that help them deal with denying their feelings or changing their behaviors. This can trigger eating disorders or drug abuse. This helps numb out the feeling and confusion of denying their feeling and trying to forget their true self. This can cause feelings of depression and anxiety.
What should parents look for in their daughters? If your daughter tries to stop wearing her glasses or if she all of a sudden changes how she dresses or acts. Another change could be not doing as well in her classes because she is afraid of looking too smart.
While it is normal for teenage girls to make changes in their attitudes or how they dress, we are talking about something that goes beyond normal self-expression.
This is what we are talking about. If girls are changing their hair or how they dress as a way to express themselves that is normal teenage behavior. If the girl is doing it just to fit in and she is losing a sense of her true self this is camouflaging.
Camouflaging results in depression or low self-esteem because the girl is forgetting herself. If she is doing it as a way of trying to experiment with her self expression, the girl is happy and confident. This is the main point. Camouflaging results in the girl losing a sense of herself and the girl shows signs of being unhappy. This is the main thing for parents to watch for in their adolescents behavior.
If you go onto Yahoo and look up Camouflaging you will find a segment on Good Morning America about Camouflaging. In fact, here is the link to the GMA segment https://gma.yahoo.com/video/parents-worry-tween-teen-camouflaging-122935763.html?soc_src=copy. Also if parents look at the February issue of Teen Vogue, you will find an article about Camouflaging.
Dr Michael Rubino has over 20 years experience working with teenagers and their families. Dr Rubino is considered an expert psychotherapist in the treatment of teens. For more information about Dr Rubino and his private practice visit his website at http://www.rcs-ca.com