Mental illness is not exclusively an adult issue. Increasingly, mental health in teenagers is becoming a serious health concern. It is estimated that 1 in 5 teens have a diagnosable mental disorder. In fact, 50 to 75 percent of teens that develop anxiety and other mood disorder do so during adolescence. If left untreated, mental health issues will worsen and significantly impact a person as they age into adulthood. Teen mental health is a topic that requires increased focus from parents and mental health professionals.
This article will take a deeper look at what disorders commonly affect teens. We will also take a closer look at the underlying causes of how mental disorders develop during the teenage years. Most importantly, we will discuss the common signs of teen mental illness and where you can get teen mental health treatment in California.
Why Are Teens Prone to Mental Health Issues?
There are several reasons why teenagers are prone to developing mental health issues. A massive reason for mental health issues in teens is the immense biological changes experienced by young people. Teens experience vast growth of their bodies and brains and experience tremendous hormonal changes. The enormity of these changes can be overstimulating for teens. Because of this, the struggle some teens may experience during this period of growth can make them vulnerable to mental health issues.
Another huge factor that impacts teen mental health is environmental stress. Teenagers face increased pressure and expectations that can be overwhelming to handle. Examples include academic pressures, increasing family expectations, peer pressure, and the influence of social media. These stressors can create sensory overload in teens, and if it becomes too much to bear, teens may be vulnerable to developing a mental disorder.
Some other factors that negatively impact teen mental health include the following:
- Trauma due to natural disaster
- Sexual, physical, or psychological abuse
- Family history of mental illness
- Brain injury
- Chronic illness
- Substance abuse
- Inadequate or unsafe living conditions
What Disorders Commonly Affect Teens?
Early intervention is key if you suspect that your teen may be struggling with a mental disorder. In order to get them the help they need, it is important to educate yourself on what disorders commonly affect teens. The following are common disorders that commonly affect teens:
According to statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), 15.7 percent of young people aged 12-17 experienced at least one depressive episode. Additionally, female adolescents (23 percent) experience depression more than teen boys (8 percent). Additionally, teens who are bi- or multi-racial (20.8 percent) experience higher rates of depression when compared to those who are of one race.
According to data by the NIH, 31.9 percent of adolescents aged 13-17 had suffered from an anxiety disorder. Of those who had an anxiety disorder, 8.3 percent dealt with severe anxiety. Much like depression, females (38.0 percent) were more vulnerable to developing anxiety when compared to teen males (26.1 percent)
Another disorder that commonly affects teens is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, 6.1 million children between the ages of 2-17 are diagnosed with some form of ADHD. Unlike other mental disorders, boys (12.9 percent) are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (5.6 percent).
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is another one of the disorders commonly affecting teens. According to a guide published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, anywhere between 1 and 16 percent of adolescents have ODD. Children who have ODD also may have a concurrent mood or anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, or have ADHD. ODD is more commonly found in adolescent boys than girls.
Signs of Mental Health Disorders in Teens
How do you know if your child is experiencing mental illness, or is just trying to navigate the growing pain of the teenage years? Trying to pinpoint mental illness in teens can be difficult. While the signs of teen mental health disorders can widely vary, there are common signs that you can easily detect in your child. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) provides the following list of common mental illness signs:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
Teen Mental Health Treatment in Southern California
Teen mental health is a serious matter. If your child is struggling with mental illness, it affects the whole family. Multi-Concept Recovery (MCR) is a premier teen mental health facility that features evidence-based treatment programs that are individually tailored to meet your teen’s needs. Our experienced mental health staff understands the unique needs of your child and can help your teen and family—regardless of mental health condition.
Our facility is able to treat multiple disorders, including dual diagnosis. No matter the severity of your child’s mental illness, we will provide the tools and support needed to help the whole family heal and recover. We want your child to live their best life; call MCR toll-free right now.