Are you a parent of a child struggling with a mental health issue?
Chances are, your teen is navigating through a very different adolescence than the one you remember. Technology has utterly transformed the social landscape so that friendships, dating, cliques, and disagreements are all managed over the internet. It has forever altered the ways we communicate and has added an additional layer of social pressure. As parents, we find ourselves trying to ensure the well-being of our kids in an environment where none of the familiar rules seem to apply anymore.
Young people are more likely to become severely depressed than any other age group.
While about one in five adolescents have a diagnosable mental heath disorder, it still can be hard to tell if your child is struggling.
About 20% of adolescents have a diagnosable mental health disorder
The most common mental health issues found in adolescence are depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and eating disorders.
What are the warning signs that my child might have a mental health issue?
Young children might not have the verbal skills to express their feelings, so the signs of a possible mental health issue are based on behaviors such as:
- Excessive worry or anxiety
- Hyperactive behavior
- Frequent nightmares
- Frequent disobedience or aggression
- Frequent temper tantrums
Adolescents tend to exhibit the same symptoms of a mental health disorder as adults, which include:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating
- Extreme mood changes
- 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
- Difficulty perceiving reality such as delusions or hallucinations
- Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague pain, etc.)
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance