Did you know that mental health problems can affect 1 in 10 children and teens? They may experience depression, anxiety, or conduct disorders which might be responses to what’s happening in their daily lives. Unfortunately, only about 70% of these children and teens haven’t received the proper interventions earlier.
If you are a parent, it’s time that you start learning more about mental health in children and teens. To avoid any major emotional issues in the long run, you have to know the different common mental disorders and how you can extend your support. So read on to know more about mental health in teens.
What to Know About Mental Health In Teens
Mental health refers to the social and emotional wellbeing of a person. It’s crucial to maintain good mental health, especially in the earlier ages to build strong relationships, adapt to change, and fight through life’s challenges properly. Here are the things to learn about when it comes to mental health in your teenage child:
Common Mental Health Problems In Teens
Here are the mental health problems which may affect children and teenagers:
- Depression affects both young people and adults, with teenagers more likely to experience it compared to children
- Self-harm is common in teenagers, as a way to manage an intense emotional pain
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder may cause teens to feel extreme worry and separation anxiety
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may occur after physical or sexual abuse. It can also happen after witnessing traumatizing or frightening events, such as being a victim of disasters, bullying, or violence
- Eating disorders start during the teenage years, more common in females
- Children who are hyperactive, behave impulsively, and can’t pay attention may have ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. More male than female children are affected with ADHD.
Risk Factors Of Poor Mental Health
There are various risk factors that can have teens more likely to experience mental health problems compared to others. Some of these risk factors include:
- Having a long-term physical illness
- Being with a parent who has had mental health problems, or with problems with alcohol and/or the law
- Experiencing death of a loved one
- Parents who are separating or divorcing
- Having been bullied or abused
- Living in poverty or experiencing homelessness
- Experiencing any form of discrimination
- Taking on full adult duties or caring for relatives
- Having educational difficulties as they grow up
With that said, do take note that this doesn’t mean that experiencing any of this means that your child has a mental health problem immediately.
Signs Your Child May Need Help
It’s normal for teenagers to have show signs of mental health problems, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have it. This can include low moods, trouble sleeping, or poor motivation. However, if you notice these signs that last for over a month, then you need to take action:
- Feeling down and hopeless, tearfulness and/or lacking motivation
- Feeling difficulty in coping with daily activities
- A sudden change of behavior without obvious reasons
- Difficulty in sleeping and/or eating
- Refusing to go to school or work suddenly, with a drop in their performance
- Avoiding any form of social contact with family and/or friends
- Feeling physical pain, particularly a headache, backache, or stomachache
- Antisocial or aggressive behavior such as fighting, stealing, or missing school
- Feeling anxiousness over their physical appearance and weight, losing more weight or not gaining weight at all
How to Promote Mental Health In Teens
If your child has shown different signs that signify a mental health problem, don’t panic! There are ways to promote better mental health and give your support to your teen.
Talk with your teen about it and let them know that adults have problems they sometimes can’t fix themselves, showing that they have your full support.
Let them know that it isn’t unusual to feel stressed, sad, or worried, that opening up can be scary but feel great.
Try easing yourself in and suggesting to see a doctor, assuring them that a medical professional can help see things even better for them.
And always remember to let your teen know how much you love them and that they are NOT alone! Follow any advice your teen’s doctor recommends and make sure your teen is doing the therapies or assignments given to her. It will be a challenging and long process, but worth it in the long run as your teen grows into a young adult entering the “real” challenges of life.
Your child’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health, allowing them to grow stronger as they grow older. That way, when they become adults, they have the resilience and proper coping mechanisms to respond well to any troubles in life. Fortunately, you can give your support and find Brisbane city psychologists to help diagnose and treat any mental health problems.
Hopefully, you learned a lot after this article on mental health in teens. Now that you’re familiar with the causes, risks, disorders, and more, start following the right tips to raise your teens well.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with teen mental health, share it in the comments section below. All your thoughts are much appreciated!
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