Health

Dealing with Mental Health Issues in Teens

Teen comforting hes sad friend in the night sitting on a couch in the living room at home

Teens are experiencing change every moment of their lives. Since this is the time when they are experiencing new things and exploring new areas, they are prone to many dangers out there including mental health issues. They are very sensitive at this time of their lives, and with all the changes happening around, how can we differentiate among the right and wrong change?

This is the time that parents need to take a closer look at the changes their kids are experiencing. Besides using parental control apps, there are plenty of other things that can be done to keep a check on them. There is a need for proper checks and balances.

Some Common Health Issues Among Teens

Surprisingly, mental health issues are very common in youth. About 50-70% of mental issues are shown before the age of 18. Having a mental illness at this age shows that it can affect their development. It has a great effect on how they perform at school, their peer relationship, and their behavior at home.

Here are some of the most common mental health issues that your child can encounter:

1. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It affects around 5% of kids and it makes it difficult for the kids to focus on one thing. They find it hard to pay attention to any activity they are performing. A child suffering from ADHD is also impulsive and finds it hard to settle with other kids.

2. Bipolar Disorder

It is a mood disorder. In rare cases, it might show up at a younger age. But mostly it shows up in teens. It makes their moods fluctuate between low and high moods called depression and mania.

3. Eating Disorder

Eating disorder is very common in this age because body shaming affects teens very much. They are often bullied at this time of their lives and they do multiple things to deal with that. This disorder includes harmful behaviors to manage weight and food intake.

4. Anxiety Disorders

It is most likely to affect teens. Since teens experience anxiety because of various reasons, they are more prone to severe anxiety disorders. It can cause them to be afraid of situations and things to the point where it affects their normal life.

5. Depression

It is a mood disorder that often shows up at a teenager. It has a great effect on a child’s attitude, behaviors, and emotions. They usually feel sad or irritated for a longer time. They tend to sit quietly in the dark which makes their behavior overall unusual.

6. Psychosis

It is a severe mental issue that causes teens to have no connection with reality. It can attack them in late adolescence. In this case, proper care and professional help are required.

7. Suicide

Cyberbullying, body shaming, taunting, poor peer relationship, and a lot of other things can lead teens to the point where they choose suicide as the only escaping option. Teens are very sensitive; one leaked chat or video can lead them to take their lives.

 

Who Is More Prone to Mental Illness?

Mental health issues can affect kids of any age or background. But there are certain situations where kids are more prone to such issues. Some of these situations include:

  • A family history of mental illness
  • New refugees and immigrants
  • Teens who have gone through a big change such as location or school
  • Teens who have faced some trauma
  • Bisexual, gay, or transgender
  • Teens with substance abuse issues

 

Is Your Child Suffering from Mental Illness?

It can be difficult to know if your child is suffering from any above mentioned mental health issues. Since they are naturally changing too much, it is hard to tell if there is any change in their mental state.

However, here are some changes that can be related to mental health issues:

  • Sudden change in behavior (e.g., a talkative child goes silent)
  • Sudden change in their feelings (e.g., they may show signs of feeling unhappy, hopeless, worried, guilty, sad, etc.)
  • Recently, they have been complaining about some physical issues like stomach aches, headaches, sleep issues, lethargic, etc.)
  • They now keep things to themselves.
  • They talk of suicide or self-harming acts.
  • They started avoiding the social interactions which they used to enjoy.
  • Feel disgusting about their body, and weight.
  • They are having issues in dealing with daily activities.

If your child is showing one of these symptoms, you must start noticing what is going on in their lives. Also, talk to your family doctor about what other explanation there could be for the changing attitude.

What Can You Do About It?

You surely don’t want your kid to suffer from any of the above mental health issues. You want them to be healthy and happy. If you are noticing these changes, you can do some things to do the right thing at the right time. Such as:

·       Family Therapy

Family therapy can help you look into the things that are happening at home inducing the wrong behavior in the child. A good family therapist deals with the whole family keeping the main client in the center.

·       Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

It helps the affected person to realize how their perception and thoughts are shaping their behaviors. How they can get better by replacing all the negative thoughts with the positive ones. It makes the person re-analyze their personality and make a fresh start.

·       Education Interventions

You can avoid such terrible problems by educating your child at the very first moment. Before they are introduced to smartphones, peers, and stuff, you must tell them how the world is and how strong they are. Also, there are educational interventions that can be practiced in schools as well.

·       Parental Control Apps

Using parental control apps can help a lot in understanding what your kid is going through. Choose the best parental control app and install it on their phones and laptops. There are things that they won’t tell you because they are too afraid or ashamed. It is better to know things before anything horrible happens. So, keep an eye on them and know when they are facing any digital troubles.

Reference Articles:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/Pages/Mental-Health-and-Teens-Watch-for-Danger-Signs.aspx

https://www.columbusrecoverycenter.com/help-teen-with-mental-health-issues/

https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2017/may/teens-mental-health

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