Teenage is a challenging time. In many ways, it’s a second childhood.
You must deal with the many changes that go along with being a teenager, like making new friends or going through puberty. Many teenagers also deal with traumatic events or difficult situations that can cause them stress.
It can be hard for teens to talk about these things, but if they don’t get help, they may develop mental health problems like anxiety and depression later in life. In fact, 1 in 6 children experience a mental health disorder each year.
Here are ten reasons why teenagers struggle with mental health:
Traumatic life events
Traumatic life events can be any number of things, including:
- Divorce or separation from a parent.
- Death or serious illness of a loved one.
- Witnessing violence in the home or community.
Children who experience traumatic events are more likely to develop mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Generally, abuse refers to an ongoing pattern of harmful behavior perpetrated by someone who has power or authority over another person, such as a parent, teacher, or caregiver.
There are many different forms of abuse: sexual, physical, emotional, and verbal.
Sexual abuse can include rape (including marital rape), sodomy, and molestation; physical abuse includes beating/beating up with objects; emotional/psychological abuse includes constant belittling behavior; verbal/emotional attacks include threats of harm and humiliation in front of others or in private
Poor physical health
There is a strong connection between poor physical health and mental health. Poor physical health can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Teenagers need to stay physically healthy so that their minds can function properly.
Here are some examples of how poor physical health can lead directly to mental health problems:
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
Anyone can develop an eating disorder. You may think that this is something that only happens to thin, pretty people who eat tons of food and never exercise—but it’s not.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED), and other eating disorders all affect individuals in different ways. The most common symptom of these illnesses is an extreme concern with body weight and shape, but they also include intense fears of gaining weight or being fat as well as feeling out of control around food or meals.
How do you know if your child has an eating disorder? Some signs include:
- Refusing to eat certain foods or cutting food into tiny pieces
- Making excuses not to eat (such as saying she doesn’t feel good)
- Preparing elaborate meals for others but refusing their own meal(s), especially when served at home
- Frequently dieting despite being underweight
If you are worried for your child’s mental health, check out basepointacademy.com and get your child evaluated so they can get the help they need now.
As a teenager, friendship is important to your mental health. It can help you to feel less alone and more connected to others. Friends give you an outlet for your feelings and allow you to share experiences with someone else who understands them.
Feelings of abandonment create emotional conditions that are not conducive to healthy development like the ability to trust, express their needs, and control feelings of shame, low self-esteem, and other damaging emotions.
Bullying and Cyberbullying
Bullying is a form of abuse. It can happen in person or online, and it can involve physical contact, verbal threats, or insults, spreading rumors about someone’s personal life, and more.
Cyberbullying involves using electronic devices to tease or threaten someone. The effects of cyberbullying can be worse than traditional bullying because you can’t see who the bully is: they might be hiding behind a screen name or avatar that looks like something else entirely (like a cat).
Also, cyberbullies have complete anonymity—they don’t have to look their victims in the eye as they hurt them with their words. To make matters worse, kids who are bullied often don’t tell anyone because they worry being honest will make things worse for them!
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to poor mental health in teenagers.
Sleep loss has profound effects on an adult body and even more so on a teen. These can include brain damage, genetic changes, increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and various mental disorders, including depression and anxiety.
The second reason poor mental health in teenagers is a problem is poverty. Poverty can lead to a lack of sleep, food, and shelter, which in turn can lead to poor mental health.
Stress can be caused by several factors, including work, family, and personal problems.
It’s important to realize that stress can affect your mood, your health, and your ability to function. When stress is severe or prolonged enough it may result in mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
Unhealthy relationships with family members or friends.
Unhealthy relationships with family members or friends are another common reason for poor mental health in teenagers.
Relationships can be unhealthy if they involve:
- Unhealthy conflict and communication patterns (for example, someone who is constantly criticized and put down)
- Abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual)
- Insufficient support from family members when needed.
Learning disabilities, also known as “specific learning disabilities,” are not mental illnesses. They are problems with how information is processed in the brain and affect a person’s ability to read, write, speak, spell, or do math.
Although people with learning disabilities may have trouble processing information quickly and accurately, their intelligence is usually average or above average.
Young people that have learning disabilities are more likely to experience abuse, neglect, challenging family situations, peer bullying, and exclusion.
If you’re concerned about your teen’s mental health, the best thing you can do is talk to them.
Let them know that they can come to you with their problems or thoughts without fear of judgment.
If they do have a serious concern, consider talking with an expert who can help assess the situation and offer advice on how to proceed next steps.