Teenagers and Mental Health
In some ways, the teen years can be the best time of life, but they can also bring hardship. It is only when you are at that stage that you can truly appreciate it. You may experience different circumstances such as being top in school, getting in trouble with peers, feel discriminated, getting along with family and friends and making smart judgments. This kind of feeling or pressure often affects teenagers but is considered normal for them. But if someone is displaying a negative disposition towards the matter, it could be regarded to as a warning sign of a mental health disorder. Mental health is a very vital part for teens overall health.
Studies show that many children and teens are experiencing mental health problems, which are confirmed in more or less 7 percent of children and teens between the age of 11 and 18. Often, they have serious emotional disturbances that are caused by real problems in their family, school and community life. Some teenagers can easily handle mental challenges but some may have a hard time coping with it. Oftentimes, this causes more trouble and eventually leads to the disruption of their lives. Mental health problems may be painful and sometimes severe for teenagers.
Some mental health disorders are common to teenagers, ranging from mild to severe. A teenager may often have more than one disorder and this includes Anxiety Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Depression, Eating Disorders and Schizophrenia. Anxiety disorders are very common to teenagers. It is estimated that 10 out of 100 teenagers have had a form of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder includes phobia, panic disorder, OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A teen with ADHD finds it impossible to focus on things and easily gets distracted. Most teens with this kind disorder have difficulty in concentrating, and keeping quiet, thus also affecting their attention span on things. Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic-depressive illness is marked by inflated mood swings between lows and highs. These symptoms are more difficult to spot in people of a certain age because they are easily mistaken for just normal moodiness Depression in teens is very different from depression in adults because teenagers feel irritated and switch moods from time to time while for adults they feel sad and worthless most of the time. Teenage depression is not just about mood swings and occasional melancholy. Depression is a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Untreated depression for teenagers can lead to problems in school, running away from home, low self-esteem, addiction to internet games or social networks, self-injury, and dependency on alcohol or drugs for self-medication. At the worst, it may lead to suicidal thoughts and action.
Eating disorders can occur and can be life threatening because some teenagers eat to forget and become very unhealthy. A teen with bulimia nervosa feels compelled to binge, then feels guilt after wards, which is dealt with by purging the food in some way (for example, vomiting). Schizophrenia is an upsetting mental health disorder. Young people with it have psychotic periods where they are hallucinating.
Remember that mental health problems are treatable. First thing to do in treating the illness is to learn about the symptoms and taking attention or concern when warning signs are spotted. If a teen claims nothing is wrong without stating any reason for being depressed, you should trust your instincts that he may have a mental health disorder. If warning signs are sighted in a teenager, it is better to seek for professional help. Do not be shy to seek the help of a doctor or psychologist because it is for your own sake and that of your love one. You can also find help by talking to your parents, school counselors or a friend.