Research has shown that the journey of young people in life is challenging.They go through a lot as they grow, that is emotionally and even physically. Adolescence is that specific stage when young people feel a lot of chemistry going on in their bodies but they may not understand. During the early stages of adolescence, science has shown that there is physical, emotional and mental growth. Mental health disorders now set in at this period when the changes are taking place. If they are not well managed, they may lead to psychological loss of an individual and a final crisis.
To begin with, we should take into consideration the fact that young people can have mood swings, feel anxious and nervous. This however does not necessarily mean that they are ailing from a mental disorder. All these characteristics are normal in people who are growing. These young persons can just like or dislike something for no reason and sometimes when they are hurt, they feel as if the entire universe has turned against them.
Since teenagers are always switching moods and sometimes get out of hand, it becomes quite challenging to differentiate between a mental health disorder and the usual growth issues.
However, there are features of a teenager that clearly dictate that his mood is complex and needs attention:
- If the bad mood takes a long time to be normal again, it could be more than a week
- When one is not interacting with others or is less interested in other people
- Persistent anger even at the slightest provocation
- When the teenager looks depressed
- Sudden loss or addition of weight
What are the general facts about mental health disorders among teenagers?
According to research, it is evident that on average one in five young adults has a high probability of suffering from a mental disorder. They could be phobia, anxiety, depression, other personality disorders and even behavioral disorders. This is also the period when a mental ailment can be diagnosed in an individual for the first time. Generally, up to half of all substance abuse and mental health disorders have a base and can be identified before the age of fourteen. This number spikes high to three-quarters by age twenty four.
Biological situations are said to play a part in teenage mental health.The gentlemen are more likely to suffer from behavioral and autism spectrum disorders together with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder whereas the ladies are most likely to get ill from eating disorders and depression. Individuals who are brought up by parents who are violent, not well educated or are suffering from mental health disorders are most likely to be prone to personal mental health circumstances.
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What are the most common mental health disorders?
According to the research done by the United States National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, 3.7% of children aged between eight to fifteen years are depressed. Depression is the most common mental disorder among those at this young age. High school learners follow where at least twenty five percent show some moderate symptoms. A report by the British medical journal indicated that on average eight to ten percent teenagers experience adverse symptoms of depression.
Just like the depression in adults, teenage depression is in most cases characterised by the same anger, extreme sadness and a melancholic mood. The difference between adults and teenagers in this case is that teenage depression may involve more irritability than sadness together with hostility. A report by HelpGuide.org. states that young adults suffering from depression are also likely to be hypersensitive and often complain of stomach and headaches.
There are more symptoms other than the ones above which one can look out for:
- Feeling worthless, lonely and helpless
- Having difficulties when trying to concentrate
- Feeling extremely tired
- Regular weeping
- Having frequent suicidal thoughts
After depression, the second mental health disorder from top is anxiety among teenagers. There are various forms of anxiety: phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). On average, ten percent of young adults ail from either of the above. It is important to note that there is a similarity between adult mental disorders and the other previous forms of anxiety.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder in teenagers is also characterised by frequent ideas of a similar picture or appearance.PTSD symptoms in a child’s life can be stimulated by traumatizing events just like extreme fears of people, places, or things can bring about phobias. Teenagers ailing from anxiety are likely to be: withdrawn, highly uneasy, or fearful. They may also be over emotional, unresponsive or unrestrained.
- Eating disorders
Five percent of teenagers affected by dangerous physical complications are said to suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa (bulimia), anorexia nervosa (anorexia), or body dysmorphia. Some of these disorders are caused by being on diet or on a mission to retain a certain weight. Bulimia is a health problem where an individual excessively consumes a lot of food or drinks and removes all of it later. On the other hand, anorexia disorder involves feeding on very little quantities of meals or having no meal completely.
This mental disorder is rampant in young females probably because of influence from the media, agemates or even socialites and models in the entertainment sector. Most ladies are not able to resist peer pressure at this time. Identifying victims of these pressures is quite an easy job because they appear slim, they visit the washrooms immediately after eating, most of the time they are jealous of other people’s outlook and they fear to add weight.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Among the most rampant mental health conditions is ADHD which on average affects almost ten percent of teenagers of age eight to fifteen years. These statistics get a bit higher among young adults aged between twelve to seventeen years. In the United States of America, ADHD is developing among young people quickly due to it being given less attention, impulsiveness, disorganization and hyperactivity. A report from the body incharge of Children and adolescents in America states that ADHD can be diagnosed in numerous instances long before the adolescence stage.
Common features of teenagers who are suffering from this disorder include: loss of interest in anything easily, Lack of concentration even for a few minutes and are usually nugging. This disorder may be seen both at home and at school although it is most likely to be noticed in school. The first people to observe this could be parents or guardians because the child may not be well conversant with his or her own doings. If ADHD is treated on time,the symptoms can go down by up to fifty percent towards maturity.
Importance of treatment
It is very important for a young adult to access medical help for a mental health disorder since it reduces chances of experiencing other disorders in future. Due to the fact that teenagers feel so insecure with their emotions, having a mental health situation can trigger some of these emotions making the individual to lose hope and lack assistance. It is so unfortunate that not even half of the teenagers with mental health conditions receive the assistance they deserve. One of the main contributors to this is that individuals are not willing to come out and share their problems may be because they are shy or fear to be judged. They therefore end up lacking proper treatment.
Just like anything else, mental health conditions have negative effects. Some of these effects include: frequent failures in school, underperformance in the place of work, lack of a social life where you have no friends, drug abuse, indulgence into irresponsiple sexual activities and regular suicidal thoughts.
Treatment is also important because its availability gives people hope. Mental health conditions are curable through a specific mode of treatment. Having knowledge about this gives an individual who was at the vulge of giving up some strength to hang on for some time.
It is evident that suicide is among the top causes of death among young adults. One in three people who commit suicide every year is said to be a teenager between age eleven to twenty five years. Among these individuals, almost ninety percent had a pre-existing mental disorder and on average fifty percent were suffering from depression at the moment they took their lives.
It is always necessary to seek help if you or anyone around you is suffering from a mental health disorder. Whether it is a child, a teenager or an adult, quick attention should be sought to deal with the issue. In such a case, reach out to us by calling the treatment coordinators for immediate assistance. This team will help in diagnosing the type of the mental disorder and come up with the best approaches of dealing with the situation. We do that through offering diverse treatment choices that are best equipped to deal with your problem. Do not allow these disorders to interfere with your normal life. Contact us now and get the help you require.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.