The teenage years are challenging in the best of circumstances. The want for independence and the awkwardness of adolescence, with all its physical and emotional changes, converge. A teenager’s brain is developing, and the ways they perceive and process the world around them are in flux—it’s a season rife with vulnerability. If you’re wondering how does mental health affect teens, it can in many ways.
Teens struggling with a mental health disorder often experience increased difficulties at home, in school, relationally, and in social settings. Typically, learning is negatively affected due to poor attendance, difficulties concentrating and retaining information, and misbehavior. Contact Honey Lake Clinic at 888.428.0562 for our adolescent treatment program options.
How Does Mental Health Affect Teens?
Mental health issues can drastically alter a teen’s life trajectory, impacting their daily functioning and overall quality of life in profound ways. Some of the ways that teen mental health affects their lives include:
Typically, teenagers with a mental health disorder struggle at home. Disputes between the teen, parents, and siblings are common. Communication breaks down. Relationships become strained. It’s not uncommon for the parents and families of a struggling teen to experience marital and family dynamic difficulties.
Teenagers with mental health disorders often struggle in school. Symptoms associated with their condition—difficulty following instructions, concentrating on and completing assignments, and social isolation—exacerbate the situation, resulting in falling grades and, very often, disciplinary consequences. Students with mental health concerns typically miss school and fall behind in their studies more often than their classmates. They’re more likely to fail or drop out of school. They’re more likely to isolate. They’re more likely to develop a substance use disorder or addiction.
Relationally and in Social Settings
Every teenager experiences relational and social awkwardness to one degree or another. The pressures of wanting to fit in and be normal and the fears of standing out and being embarrassed are the perfect recipe for adolescent stress. For teens wrestling with mental health concerns, these normal adolescent trials are exacerbated. Struggling teens may begin to avoid or isolate from family, friends, and social settings.
Mental health disorders are serious illnesses—sufferers cannot simply “pull it together” or “get over it.” These conditions are lasting, and if left untreated, they can impact every aspect of a teenager’s everyday life. Call Honey Lake Clinic today. We can help.
How Many Teens Struggle with Mental Health
Recent studies show that, for teens, having mental health challenges is not uncommon. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 49.5% of adolescents will experience mental illness at some point between the ages of 13 and 18. One in five teens suffers from at least one diagnosable mental health challenge.
Some of the most common mental health concerns among teenagers include anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, and substance use.
Anxiety disorders and depression are more common among teenage girls than boys. Honey Lake Clinic’s adolescent program for girls between the ages of 13 and 17 is the first and only program in the United States.
Signs of Mental Illness in Teens
How do you distinguish mental illness from normal teenage behavior, phases, or mood swings? It can be challenging to discern. Here are some signs you can look for:
- Extreme sleep habit changes, like difficulty sleeping at night or a desire to stay in bed all day.
- Loss of interest in activities or people they once enjoyed; avoiding things they used to enjoy doing and the people they used to enjoy hanging out with.
- Drastic changes in their grades and school performance; lack of motivation to complete schoolwork; falling behind in classes; missing classes or school often.
- Appetite and weight changes; abrupt changes in appetite and attitudes towards food and mealtimes; noticeable changes in body weight, gain or loss.
- Extreme mood swings, excessive sadness, irritability, or anger.
- Isolation or the desire to be alone and to be left alone.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these signs, it may be time to seek help from a professional.
Getting Help for Mental Health Struggles With Honey Lake Clinic
Mental health disorders are treatable, and recovery is possible. Don’t wait until the situation becomes unmanageable and overwhelming for you or your teen. If you suspect that your teen may be struggling with mental health concerns, do not hesitate to reach out for help.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our Christian-based adolescent treatment program provides personalized care in a safe and peaceful environment. We understand teenagers’ unique challenges and offer a comprehensive approach to addressing mental health concerns.