Though mental health doesn’t often get discussed openly, it’s something that should be on everyone’s radar – especially when it comes to adolescents. Considering that one in five teens experiences a mental health disorder, it’s important to know the warning signs. This way, you can get your child the help they need as soon as possible.
What is Mental Illness?
Mental illness is a term used to describe a wide range of mental health conditions. These conditions can impact a person’s ability to function in daily life and can cause distress. Mental health conditions are common, with one in five adults in the United States experiencing a mental health condition in any given year. Conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are some of the most commonly diagnosed mental health illnesses. While there is no single cause of mental illness, it is believed that a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors contribute to its development.
Warning Signs of Mental Health in Adolescents
It is important to be aware of the warning signs that may indicate a teen is struggling with their mental health. Some common warning signs include:
- Feeling sad or down more often than usual
- Losing interest in activities that used to bring joy
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Feeling anxious or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide
How to Help Improve Your Teen’s Mental Health
One of the most important things you can do is to talk to your teen about their feelings and experiences. This can help them to understand and express what they are going through. It is also important to encourage them to express themselves in other ways, such as through art or writing.
It is also crucial to provide support and understanding. Let them know that you are there for them and that you understand how they feel. Avoid judgment or criticism, and try to offer helpful advice instead.
In some cases, it may be necessary to seek professional help. If you are concerned about your teen’s mental health, speak to their doctor or a mental health professional. They will be able to assess the situation and provide expert advice.
If you are noticing any of the signs we’ve listed in your adolescence, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Early intervention is key to preventing more serious mental health issues down the road. Remember that it is never too late to get help and there is no shame in seeking assistance. The team at Reachout is available 24/7 to provide support and resources. Have you ever dealt with a mental health issue in your adolescence? How did you address it?