Mental illnesses can occur at any age. The symptoms and treatment of mental health issues are slightly different for different age groups. Mental health problems are immensely common in teenagers. These days, considering the pandemic situation as well, the mental health of teenagers has been afflicted drastically. Teenagers may face trouble in recognizing their symptoms owing to their age and lack of knowledge. It is the duty of the parents to pay close attention to their children’s behavior and look for anything unusual that might be happening with their kids. It is hard to diagnose mental health issues in adolescence because of the very common adamant behavior and the influenced decisions they make under peer pressure. However, if observed closely and under professional help, the issues can be diagnosed and treated.
Here are some common teenage mental illness symptoms and facts:
Bad personal hygiene- A sudden lack of self-care and loss of interest in personal hygiene can be a huge sign that your teen is suffering from some type of mental illness. If you notice that your kid is not taking regular showers, not brushing their teeth every day, and not changing clothes for weeks and months, it is possible that they could be suffering from some type of mental disorder like depression, anxiety, or bipolar.
Extreme mood fluctuation- Mood swings are very common in teenagers. But, if you are noticing that your kid is going through extreme mood swings and personality issues, it could be due to some mental illness. If you see that your teen is showing unnecessary aggression, sudden excitement, and a highly impulsive attitude, you should fix an appointment with a psychiatrist and seek professional help.
Change in eating and drinking patterns- Sudden weight loss or excessive weight gain are common symptoms of mental illnesses. Teens are prone to developing eating disorders due to peer pressure and consciousness. Teenagers start feeling conscious about the puberty-related changes that take place in their body and either start eating too much or way too less which could depict some kind of mental illness.
Loss of interest in general activities- Depressed teenagers lose interest in their daily activities and something as simple as getting out of their bed is a huge headache for them. If you start noticing that your teen is awfully quiet or extremely lethargic, consult a doctor. If they had some previous hobby and they don’t even talk about it anymore, chances are that they are suffering some mental health issues. The lack of energy and motivation in your kids is a warning sign.
Insomnia or bad sleep cycle- If your kid is having a really tough time getting sleep, he/she might be suffering from some mental illness. Insomnia is a very common symptom of mental health in teenagers. Staying asleep too much and sleeping too less, both point towards some kind of mental illness. According to teenage mental health statistics, 90% of kids who have major sleep issues are suffering from depression and anxiety.
Heavy substance abuse- If your kid is indulging in any kind of substance abuse, it could be due to an underlying mental illness. Heavy consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and unprescribed drugs is a sign of mental health issues. In these cases, seek professional help immediately.
Gaining the maximum amount of knowledge about your kid’s behavior and their mental health condition is the first step towards being an informed parent. If you think your kid’s mental health is in danger or they could harm themselves or others, please visit a health care professional immediately.
What are some teenage mental health treatments?
Go for anger and stress management classes- Anger is a very common emotion in teens suffering from some type of mental illness. Doctors advise them to join some anger and stress management classes to learn how to control their aggression and combat stress. Learning to manage your stress is very important for teens because they have an entire life ahead of them.
Go for psychological treatments like CBT- CBT is known as cognitive behavior therapy. This therapy helps your teen to develop skills to deal with difficult and unwanted situations. This therapy recognizes how your thinking works and how it affects your behavior. If your kid has some unhealthy and unusual behavioral habits, they can learn to get rid of them with the help of this therapy.
Go for counseling- Talking to a professional in these cases makes a lot of difference. A counselor will talk to your child about his/her problems and tell them how to deal with the same. Go for family counseling as well, because it helps a lot in teen cases. Counseling is the most commonly used treatment in case of mental illnesses.
Medication- If your psychiatrist thinks that he has to put you on some medication, then just go for it, don’t refuse. There are certain mental illnesses like ADHD and bipolar which have to be treated through medicines. Only consume the medicines prescribed by your psychiatrist and nothing more or less.
The consequences of not addressing mental health issues in teenagers can be very dangerous. Sit and talk to your child. Make them comfortable with your presence. Gain their trust and address their problems. Teenage is a very sensitive age and is the growth period of your kids. If they don’t learn to deal with stress and health-related issues now, they will face a lot of difficulties in the future. The stigma surrounding mental health problems should be removed and people should start taking care of their mental health just the same way they take care of their physical health. Teenagers face a lot of issues while growing up already. They must be safeguarded from any kind of mental illness. If you notice any changes in your child, see a mental healthcare professional who specializes in children and teens.
Make your kid’s mental health a priority, don’t make their condition tougher for them. Support and understand their situation. Reach out for help, if needed.
Also Read: The Most Common Mental Health Problems