Teenagers are struggling with mental health challenges more than any previous generation. While there is more awareness around mental health issues, there are also more environmental things that are leading teens to struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. However, it’s important to recognize that mental health issues are very treatable amongst teenagers and that it’s possible for them to get the help they need to be emotionally healthy in life. Here are some of the reasons why teens seem to struggle so much.
Teens are in Transition
The teenage years are filled with transitions. From the physical transition they undergo throughout puberty, to the transitions happening as they get closer to graduation and adulthood. Some teens feel overwhelmed not knowing what they want to do with their lives. Others are so stressed as they strive for perfectionism so they can get into the right school. Helping teens find a healthy balance in these years can be critical for their mental health. Additionally, seeking residential treatment for teens can literally save lives when they need it the most.
Mental Health Disorders are Highly Treatable
There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that mental health disorders are treatable, and treatment can include medication and therapy. Treatment is available for a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and substance use disorder. The most effective treatments are usually multi-component programs that include medication management along with other therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Teens Have More Access to Technology
Technology is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it connects us to all sorts of information. On the other hand, using it too much can lead to mental health challenges. It can become a barrier between the user and real relationships. More access to technology means that more teens are on social media where comparison, bullying, and access to dangerous content become more of an issue. It’s important to model and emulate healthy boundaries with technology and relationships so that teens don’t get caught up in the mental health challenges that come with improper technology use.
Teens Haven’t Learned How to Manage Emotions Effectively
Hormones and emotional dysfunction in families contribute to teens’ mental health struggles. Some teens experience emotional neglect, while other end up in codependent relationships with parents in an unhealthy way. Both of these issues contribute to depression, anxiety, and other related mental health conditions amongst teens. Because teens are still learning how to appropriately handle their emotions, they are more prone to mental health issues.
The Stigma is Going Away
The stigma surrounding mental health is slowly going away. People are more willing to talk about mental health than ever before, and many people are more willing to seek treatment for mental health issues. As a result, teens are becoming more comfortable with seeking help when they need it. There is more work to do in this area, but it has come a long way. In schools, counselors often help teens to reach out when they are struggling and give them resources to help them cope. More professional counseling may be needed, however, and they can connect teens with parents to help them.
Trauma Can Lead to Mental Health Challenges in Teens
There are all sorts of traumatic experiences. What may impact one person in a traumatic way may not have the same effect on another. Teens can experience trauma from moving to a new town, from parents getting a divorce, from abuse, or from friendships gone wrong. Some teens experience a mental health crisis in response to these situations.
It is important for parents and guardians of teenagers to pay attention if their children show signs of mental health crises and to take these symptoms seriously. Anything from withdrawal from relationships to acting out can indicate an underlying issue. Additionally, substance abuse can cause and also be a symptom of mental health challenges. It’s vital to help young people by getting them the mental health help they need. Teens can live a wonderful life if they get the help the need for their mental health needs.
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