Updated: Apr 10
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
The deteriorating teenage mental health issue has gained increasing attention in recent years. Adolescence is a time of significant physical, emotional, and cognitive changes, which can be challenging for many teenagers. Mental health issues can arise during this period, and parents, caregivers, educators, and healthcare professionals need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health problems in teenagers.
What are the forms and signs of mental health issues found in teens?
Some of the most common mental health issues that affect teenagers include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and self-harm. These problems can significantly impact a teenager's daily life, relationships, and academic performance.
Depression: This is a mood disorder that is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in daily activities. Symptoms may include changes in appetite or sleep patterns, irritability, fatigue, and feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness.
Eating Disorders: These are a group of mental health conditions characterized by abnormal eating habits and patterns. Common eating disorders in teenagers include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder. Teenagers may feel pressure from society, peers, or the media to conform to a certain body image or standard of beauty. This pressure can lead to unhealthy behaviours around food and body image.
Substance Abuse: This refers to using drugs or alcohol in a way that causes problems or negatively affects daily life. Teenagers may feel peer pressure to experiment with drugs or alcohol or want to fit in with a particular social group.
Self-Harm refers to intentional injury or harm to oneself, often as a way of coping with difficult emotions or stress. Some teenagers may self-harm to get attention or care from others. They may feel that they are not getting enough support or attention and may use self-harm to get others to take notice of their struggles. Self-harm can also provide a sense of control over one's body and life, especially if a teenager feels powerless in other areas of their life.
What are the factors contributing to mental health issues in teenagers?
Undergoing a period of great physical and mental change, there are many inducive factors to mental health issues during the teenage years. Genetics can play a role in developing mental health issues, and hormonal changes during adolescence can also contribute to mood and behavioural changes. The pressure to succeed academically can be a significant source of stress for teenagers and can contribute to the development of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. Teenagers who experience bullying, social isolation, or discrimination may be at a higher risk for mental health problems.
Parents and caregivers need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in teenagers, including changes in mood, behaviour, sleep patterns, appetite, and academic performance. If you notice any of these changes, it is important to seek professional help.
How can mental health issues in teens be tackled?
Teenage mental health issues, like other physical diseases, can be treated. Treatment for teenage mental health issues may include counselling, medication, or a combination of both. Support from family and friends can also be an important part of the recovery process. Encouraging healthy habits, such as exercise, good nutrition, and sleep, can also help promote positive mental health in teenagers.
Overall, promoting awareness and understanding of teenage mental health issues is important to ensure young people receive the support and care they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
Written by :
Annie Lok Yan Wong