It is estimated that 20% of adolescents experience a mental health disorder each year, with self-harm being one of the top five causes of death in boys and girls aged 15-19.
Sadly, this age group can struggle with many of the same mental health disorders that adults suffer from, including depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol dependency, and suicidal thoughts.
Furthermore, teenagers are also prone to a whole host of new mental health issues such as social media addiction and body shaming.
If you suspect that your teen may already be struggling with their mental health or that they are close to developing a mental health condition, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the most common mental health issues that teens today face.
Early intervention could save your child from a lifetime of problems.
In the United States, depression is one of the most prolific mental health conditions in people of all ages, affecting an estimated 17.3 million people. Unfortunately, depression can be hard to spot in teens as their moods are often up and down due to the hormonal changes going on in their bodies.
However, if you think that your teen’s behavior is more than just the usual teenage angst, or you think they may have turned to substance abuse to help block out their feelings, it’s a good idea to investigate how your teen can start overcoming depression sooner rather than later.
This mental health disorder affects an estimated 8% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 and comes in many different forms. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety, and it affects all aspects of your teen’s life. They may also be suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD), a panic disorder, or a specific phobia.
Anxiety is treatable and often involves talking therapies, which can help your teen to work through their fears and worries. It can also help your teen to stop focusing on negative thoughts.
- Gaming and Social Media Addiction
Relatively new to the world of mental health disorders, online addictions are becoming increasingly common in teen’s today and are often directly linked to both depression and anxiety.
If you think that your teen is excessively engaging in gaming or social media, it is highly likely that they are doing so in order to cope with an underlying psychiatric disorder, so it is advisable to seek professional help before their addiction worsens.
- Eating Disorders
Teenage eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any mental health disorder and is, therefore, one of the most dangerous teen mental health disorders.
If your teen is struggling with an eating disorder, they are also at a greater risk of developing a substance abuse problem and are more likely to self-harm.
- Trauma and PTSD
Teen trauma is actually more common than you might think and there are several traumatic events that could lead to your teen getting (PTSD) post-traumatic stress disorder. These include the loss of a loved one, childhood abuse, a serious accident, crimes, and natural disasters.
Repeated exposure to traumatic events such as domestic violence or abuse is called chronic trauma and can have seriously detrimental effects on your teen’s mental health and overall wellbeing.