The common mental health disorders in teenagers are Anxiety disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, Eating Disorders and Substance Use. There are various factors that contribute to the mental health disorders in teens. COVID-19 is a major contributor to the problems, increased use of electronic gadgets, problems at home like parents separated, excessive pressure to perform well in studies.
Anxiety disorders in Teens
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder. Anxiety is a form of extreme fear or nervousness when a person is unable to do his routine tasks. Everyone experiences anxiety to a certain degree but when it interferes with the daily routine it is a disorder. There are different types of Anxiety disorders the teens face; they are social phobia or social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and separation anxiety. One common mental challenge faced by children these days is ADHD.
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is getting more common among youngsters these days. The symptoms of ADHD are when the person is hyperactive, inattentive or impulsive. ADHD usually starts in childhood and if not taken care could pose problems later in life. Children with ADHD usually do not do well in academics. It is difficult to sit in class and pay attention to what is going on, so it is difficult for them to learn. They easily get angry with people around them.
Depression in teens is growing problem now-a-days. It is a mental health condition where the person does not have energy, sleep is irregular, eating is also irregular and some cases suicidal thoughts. The person with depression finds it difficult to function normally. There is a sense of hopelessness about depression. The person going through depression may have very few friends or no friends, will not like to socialize.
Some teens struggle with eating disorder where this disorder is more common in girls and young women compared to boys and young men. There are different types of eating disorders. The commons ones are not eating enough or starving oneself and the other is over eating. It is very important to eat the right amount and have a balanced diet followed by proper exercise. Not having the desire to eat or loss of appetite is known as anorexia. Many have the problem of anorexia because they are very conscious of their weight. They would like to eat less so that they do not gain weight. Anorexia can lead to a lot of physical problems like damage to their kidneys, liver, heart problems, problems with bones, osteoporosis, infertility and anemia. Overeating or binge eating can lead to other health issues like obesity, lack of energy, sluggishness and low self-esteem.
Substance Abuse among Teens
Substance abuse is when there is use of drugs for the sake of pleasure. It could be either excessive use or misuse of the medicines or the use of narcotics. Usually persons try these drugs for fun and before long they would be hooked on to them. Drug abuse has many harmful effects on the body. The main problem is that the person gets easily addicted to the substance. With addiction the person needs to buy more of the substance. It is not easy for all to keep spending on drugs, so they may resort to stealing and even killing so that they could buy their drug. These substances affect the brain. This could lead to mental health issues. They will not be able to concentrate on their studies or work. They will have to drop out of school or may have to give-up their jobs. This leads to other problems like no income.
How to help teenagers with their mental wellness?
- Start-off by encouraging their feelings. No matter what parents and elders have to help by listening to their wards and pupils and make them feel comfortable.
- Notice the changes in their behaviors, sleeping patterns and appetite.
- More importantly teenagers can help themselves by spending time improving their mental and physical health by engaging themselves in physical activities like sports, hobbies, exercise, so on.