Parents often find themselves without the knowledge or resources to help a teen with mental health issues. They may mistake behaviors that are symptoms of mental illness as willfulness or general teen angst. While there is no official national teen mental health day, you can pick one to increase your awareness of the effects of mental health disorders on teens. It’s important to prioritize looking after teen mental health as they make their way toward adulthood. On March 2nd, we celebrate National Teen Mental Health Day.
How Does Mental Health Affect Teens?
The teenage years are a time when people typically find out more about who they are. Adolescents typically undergo numerous physical and emotional changes. They may find their social groups changing as they make their way from elementary school to secondary education.
Some young adults start showing signs of mental health issues during that period. That can cause them to appear irritable or even irrational to their parents. Many teenagers have trouble opening up to their parents about what may be going on inside. They may also fear the idea of having to acknowledge that they have a mental illness.
Having a mental health disorder can make what may already be a difficult time even harder. Teens with mental health issues may have trouble in school. Sometimes they turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating their symptoms. That can lead to problems with the law or put them in physical danger.
What Are Some Common Mental Health Disorders in Teens?
Below is a rundown of common mental health disorders in teens:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder — Teens with a general anxiety disorder may exhibit signs of worrying excessively about different situations. The concern and level of agitation shown is often disproportionate to the expected event.
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — Some teens develop extreme emotional reactions because of trauma they are experiencing now or have in the past. The symptoms may manifest as shortness of breath, shaking, or heart palpitations.
- Depression — While many teens have times where they feel sad or out of sorts, depression is different in that it doesn’t go away. Teens may stop having an interest in their favorite activities, avoid social interactions, or become irritable when approached.
- Bipolar Disorder — Teens with bipolar disorder typically have periods of extreme emotional highs and lows. The high periods can be marked by eccentric and risky behavior. When they are in a depressed state, teenagers may be more prone to thoughts of self-harm or even suicide.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — Teens may find themselves unable to focus on schoolwork. Teachers and parents may notice teens with ADHD becoming disruptive in class or falling behind grade-wise.
Parents who worry that a mental illness may influence their teen’s behavior should take them in to see a mental health professional. Having a better understanding of the specific disease driving a teen’s behavior can lead to a treatment plan that helps them manage their symptoms.
How Does National Teen Mental Health Day Help?
Marking a day to learn more about mental illness can help everyone understand the importance of looking after the mental health of teens. You can also take that time to locate support resources like mental health counseling or places where a teenager can receive more in-depth therapy for their issues.
Destinations For Teens provides a haven for young people who need help with mental health disorders. Our teen treatment centers offer therapy and other services. You can also enroll your loved one in other programs we offer, like:
If you think we might be the right fit for your teen, call Destinations For Teens in Woodland Hills, CA, at 877.466.0620. We offer support for both parents and teens. Allow your loved one to find a better way forward.