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 In Mental Health

How Does Mental Health Affect a Teenager?

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 is in flux—it’s a season rife with vulnerability.

Teens struggling with a mental health disorder often experience increased difficulties at home, in school, relationally and social settings. Typically, learning is negatively affected due to poor attendance, difficulties concentrating and retaining information, and misbehavior.

At Home
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.

At School
Teenagers with mental health disorders often struggle in school. Symptoms associated with their condition—difficulty following instruction, 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, coupled with the fears of standing out and being embarrassed, is 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 and/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.

Common Mental Health Disorders Among Teens

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 13-17 is the first and only program of its kind in the United States. We can help! (888) 837-6577.

Warning Signs of Teenage Mental Illness

How do you distinguish mental illness from normal teenage behavior, phases, or mood swings? It can be very difficult to discern. Here are some signs you can look for:

  • Extreme sleep habit changes; difficulty sleeping at night or desires to stay in bed all day.
  • Loss of interest in activities and/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/or 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; the desire to be alone and to be left alone.

Do any of these signs sound familiar?

Is Your Teenager Struggling with a Mental Health Concern?

Mental illness is just that—an illness. Like other illnesses, mental illness left untreated can worsen. Symptoms worsen; experience worsens; dangers worsen. Where adolescents are concerned—in this fragile season of maturing, discovering their identity, and finding their stride into adulthood—a mental health challenge can complicate or disrupt that development. Depending on the severity of their condition, these effects can become life altering … or even life-threatening.

Be Encouraged
Mental illnesses in teenagers are usually highly treatable. Rather than worrying about this any longer, take steps to get your teen help. With proper care and treatment, your teenager can experience freedom, health, and happiness beyond these struggles. The first step is to get help.

If you think your teen is in danger, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. The caring staff of mental health professionals at Honey Lake Clinic can not only provide you with a sound diagnosis, prescribe and oversee an effective treatment plan to help your child.

Don’t allow your teen’s struggles to have the last word. Honey Lake Clinic can help your child reclaim their story! Call us today! (888) 837-6577.

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