Teen Mental Health

Teenagers are rarely thinking about their physical or mental health. Unfortunately decisions that you make at a young age can affect your health for the rest of your life. It is important for teenagers to be aware of how to properly deal with any mental health issues that arise. Without the proper tools for treatment, teens can turn to dark corners to find their own solutions. They can become addicted to drugs or alcohol and be at risk for early death.

There are many signs to look for in a person who you believe is struggling with a mental health disorder. Teens are constantly being put under large amounts of stress, and stress can increase the degrees of severity of mental health disorders. This in turn can lead to turning to substances for treatment, which actually makes mental disorders even worse. There are many different types of mental disorders that can appear in teens such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and much more.  

Mental health

            It is not stressed enough by anyone how important it is to stay on top of your mental health. If you are ever feeling like you may be suffering from a mental health illness, reach out for help. There are many solutions such as therapy and medication.

            Sometimes people are born with or develop chemical imbalances in their brains. These can be fixed by taking medication. Unfortunately many people have many negative connotations that they associate with prescription medication. There are many side effects and some are addictive. These are risks that many people think makes it not worth it. Not all medications are addictive, and not all of them can even be abused. There is medication for your heart, for your liver, and for your bones. Why wouldn’t you want to take medication to help your brain to increase your quality and length of life?

Depression

It is key to catch the signs of a mental disorder as early as possible to help a person and begin treatment for it quickly. When a person is depressed, be on the lookout for symptoms such as a change in sleeping and eating, weight loss and weight gain, a drop in academic performance, and/or complaining of physical pain. Teens who suffer from depression may have difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and act rebellious. They may act out sexually, skip school, and constantly act guilty. Parents need to keep a close eye on their teens when it comes to these areas of their life. Untreated depression can lead to alcohol and substance abuse, and even death.

Those who struggle with untreated depression often look to alcohol as a coping mechanism. It is very easy for those who are depressed to become alcoholics. Untreated depression can take over your life and end your life.

Substance abuse

            Have you ever noticed that no one ever turns to hardcore substance abuse if they are happy? As far as I can tell, substance abuse stems from deeper rooted mental and emotional problems. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can all lead to substance abuse. The rampant number of untreated cases of mental disorders in this country is astounding. Teens are a group of individuals that are even more at risk with peer pressure, going away to college, and fighting with parents.

Victims of abuse, victims of poverty, and marginalized groups of people are at an even higher risk for substance abuse. We do not see each of our neighbors as potential victims of substance abuse but we need to. Addicts could be your mother. Addicts could be your father. Addicts could be your brother or your sister or your best friend. There is such a negative stigma against addicts that people are afraid to come out and ask for help. They are afraid of the judgement and the loss of respect that will come with the label. What is truly hindering about drug stigma is the fact that people will not want to see themselves as addicts, and therefore stall or avoid going to treatment for an addiction.

Mental health disorders have an even worse stigma attached. People do not want to be known as “crazy.” When a person with a mental health disorder is also struggling with substance abuse, they have a lot going against them. They may hide their addiction or mental disorder, and leave it untreated due to the shame.

Let your loved ones know that you will not judge them. You will not blame them and you will not be angry. Tell them your respect for them will only grow because you know how hard it is to admit they have a problem. Show that you have open arms and you can get them help.

           

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