Teens and Their Mental Health: What You Can Do to Protect It

Sad female hugging dog

The teenage years are a minefield for any parent. Gone are the cute scamps of the younger years and now they are teenagers who want their independence. This can be a bit of a problem for some concerned parents.

While giving them their space to grow up, you still need to be careful about their physical and mental health. Their mental health is more important since it may not be obvious that they are in distress. Here is a quick list of some conditions that teenagers might face:

Depression

Feeling down is a natural condition but it can get worse without proper treatment. Depression is something more than the normal “down” feeling. Your teenager may not even notice it. But depression is a major mental health condition that may take years of treatment. You should be aware of any changes in behavior that focus on isolation.

If they break off friendships or are constantly blowing off social engagements, then they might be in trouble. It is essential that you look into their activities and have them get counseling if necessary. Doctors can also prescribe medications that should help them cope with it better.

Eating Disorders

A common problem among teenagers is feeling that their body is imperfect and they try to control. This can adversely affect their mental health and they can develop a range of eating disorders. This can range from anorexia to binge-eating. This can go beyond their mental condition to their health. Parents should take note of what their children are eating and whether they are skipping meals. If they suddenly drop in weight, then that is a major warning sign that they have a disorder.

Sit down with them and talk about it. You might need to consult with a clinic that offers binge-eating disorder treatment so that you can have a good action plan on how to deal with your teen’s condition.

Social Anxiety

Everyone feels a bit uncomfortable in social situations. Teenagers have it worse since they often have self-esteem issues and don’t have a wide circle of friends. This can manifest in social anxiety. This may not sound so bad but being afraid or self-conscious in social settings can result in further problems down the line. It is better if you nipped this problem in the bud. If your child doesn’t seem to have any friends or is very worried about how well they behave in a social setting, then you should sit them down and have a talk.

Addiction

Depressed female

Addiction is a major problem and becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs can ruin your child’s life. Teens don’t go into the habit for no reason. Extreme stress can pressure them into seeking escape and this is what these substances provide. It is not just well-known prohibited substance either. Prescription medicines such as painkillers can also be abused your teens. Be aware of their behavior to know if you need to stage an intervention.

The teenage years can be a challenging time as young people grow and become adults. This can be an awkward time full of mental and physical challenges. The list above should give you an idea of some of the mental health problems that teenagers face nowadays. Be alert and open-minded so that your teen would be able to turn to you for help.

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