Adolescence is a critical phase in life where teenagers undergo significant changes. While some may breeze through this stage with no problems at all, others may struggle with mental health issues.
As adults who care about the well-being of our younger generation, it’s crucial to understand what they’re going through. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring four of the most common mental illnesses in teens.
That way, you can better understand these conditions and help those affected by them. So, read on!
Depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness that can interfere with daily activities. Teenagers with depression may:
- have difficulty sleeping
- lose interest in activities
- experience changes in appetite
- weight gain/loss
- feel fatigued
One factor contributing to depression in teens is the pressure to succeed academically or socially. The fear of not living up to parental or societal expectations can be overwhelming for some young individuals.
This is especially for those who may lack the coping skills needed to handle these pressures. Parents and educators alike need to look out for signs of depression in teens such as self-harm tendencies or suicidal thoughts.
2. Anxiety Disorders
These disorders can vary greatly in their severity and impact on a teenager’s life. There are different types of anxiety disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one type of anxiety disorder that teenagers may experience. Teens with GAD often worry excessively about everyday things, such as:
- performance expectations
This constant worrying can interfere with daily activities and cause physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches.
Teenagers with Panic Disorder may experience unexpected panic attacks. These of which are accompanied by intense fear and physical symptoms like sweating or shaking.
Social Anxiety Disorder
SAD causes extreme self-consciousness and fear of being judged negatively by others. This can happen in social situations like talking to peers or giving presentations at school.
Parents and caregivers need to recognize signs of anxiety disorders in teenagers so they can get the appropriate anxiety treatment needed.
3. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are one of the common mental health issues in teens. One type of eating disorder is anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a distorted body image.
There is an intense fear of gaining weight, leading to self-starvation. Seeking help early on increases the chances of recovery from these conditions so it’s important not to ignore any signs of disordered eating patterns in teenagers.
4. Substance Use Disorders
Substance use disorders (SUDs) are characterized by an uncontrollable urge to use drugs or alcohol, even though the teenager is aware of the potential consequences. Though SUDs can often manifest at an earlier age, it is especially common among children and adolescents due to cultural and social pressures such as peer pressure, media influence, and access to drugs and alcohol.
Symptoms of substance use disorder in teens include stealing and lying to acquire drugs or alcohol, regular cravings, and even physical withdrawal when drugs or alcohol are absent. Substance use disorder can have long-term mental and physical consequences, so it is important to be able to identify the signs and get help for teens early.
Understand the Most Common Mental Illnesses in Teens
Adolescence can be a difficult time of change. These most common mental illnesses in teens can have severe and long-lasting effects on a young person’s life. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the four most common mental illnesses in teenagers.
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