All Kinds of News for June 05, 2019
Recognizing Teen Mental Illness Early Reduces Long-Term Consequences.
A recent Ontario Child Health Study proposed that one in five teenagers are struggling with mental health issues; however, only one third of teens with mental illness found help. Rates of anxiety and depression are more common in teenagers than in previous generations, even though the results of this study are consistent with the prevalence of mental illness in adults. It is unclear whether Generation Z is exposed to more triggers for mental health issues in an increasingly global society or if professionals have just gotten better at early identification and intervention.
Risk Factors Contributing to Mental Health Issues
Mental illness refers to a wide range of disorders that affect mood, thinking and behavior, including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. The most common mental health issues in teenagers are mood disorders and anxiety disorders, which are biological in basis but can be triggered by situational factors, such as loss, rejection, transitions and social pressure. Teenagers may be more likely to appraise situations as stressful, as they often don’t have the skills to regulate their emotions or evidence that they can get through difficult situations successfully.
Common Triggers may include:
- Adverse Childhood Experiences, including abuse, trauma, or neglect
- Family history or conflict
- Bullying (including cyberbullying) and Rejection
- Social isolation or loneliness
- Comparisons to others and unrealistic expectations for self
- Experiencing discrimination and stigma
- Awareness of greater social issues
- Physical health problems, injuries, and periods of hospitalization
- Academic problems and learning disabilities
- Excessive screen time and technology addiction
- Lifestyle factors including nutrition, sleep, medication, and amount of free time
Teenagers with mental illness are particularly at risk for school failure, substance use, risky behavior, and suicide attempts as they struggle to understand the symptoms and implications of their mental health problems. Struggling adults are more likely to reach out for help, try to regulate their emotions, and know how to adapt when stressors arise. Therefore, mental health promotion and crisis prevention are essential for helping teenagers with mental illness.
While the use of technology can give teenagers access to heavier topics and inappropriate information, it can also be used as a platform to connect with other people who are struggling and to role model recovery. Many people use social media to open up the conversation about the prevalence of mental illness in society, especially in teenagers and send the message that sometimes it’s okay to not feel okay.
How to Help:
- Look for signs of mental health issues in your teenager.
- Help them get an accurate diagnosis that will provide more clarity around how to best support them.
- Talk about mental wellness as well as mental illness and encourage healthy coping skills.
- Ask them what they need and how you can help them meet their needs.
- Encourage them to set personal goals and remind them that mental illness does not have to get in the way.
- When reaching out for professional help, look for a multi-modal approach that addresses their issues holistically and acknowledges the relationship between their mind, body and soul in stabilization.
About ViewPoint Center
ViewPoint Center is a psychiatric hospital for young people ages 12-17 with mental illness. Many of our students struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, substance use, eating disorders, substance use, and autism spectrum disorders. ViewPoint is dedicated to assessment, treatment, and transition planning. By the end of the treatment period at ViewPoint, families have a clear understanding of the child’s diagnoses and are offered full guidance on how to move forward and seek proper treatment. ViewPoint Center is dedicated to helping students and their families seek the treatment and care they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!