How to recognize and help your anxious or depressed teenager


Epidemic of mental diseases

With the ongoing pandemic “accompanied” by a state of massive psychosis, we undoubtedly witness an epidemic of mental illnesses in teens population. More often these mental disorders and illnesses end up with even more serious state of psychotic state or suicides. Being a teen nowadays isn’t easy, because it’s a period in life that is full of major transitions. Hence, life can get an overwhelming. Furthermore, hormonal changes affect teens mood which is OK from time to time.

Many parents simply refuse to accept that their child has a mental illness, or may struggle with feelings of failure and defeat. They may wonder if their child’s diagnosis is a result of something they did or didn’t do along the way. There are a variety of factors that come into play including heredity, biology, psychological trauma, as well as environmental stress.

While the good news is that most mental illnesses are treatable, the tricky part is getting diagnosis because my friends, unlike a physical injury or illness, the signs and symptoms of a mental illness can be hard to identify.

Get informed

This is why it’s so important to get informed on all the warning signs and this is why I wish to share with you in brief the most common mental illnesses found in teenagers and the signs and symptoms for each.

Eating disorder – Though the body image topic have long been a major concern for teenagers, nowadays with social media, things are getting worse. In some cases, these body image issues can sometimes lead to eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia nervosa, and binge-eating disorders. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to treat.

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder – Actually there are 2 different subtypes of ADHD: hyperactive and inattentive, and it’s possible to have a combination of both. Teenagers with hyperactive will have difficulty sitting still, they will struggle with not talking, completing projects on a deadline, and will often lack focus and be easily distracted

Mood swings – Mood disorder in teenagers includes major depression, dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, mood disorder that is caused by a health problem, or a substance-induced mood disorder. The most common symptoms are loss of interest in normal activities once enjoyed

feeling of despair and helplessness, ongoing feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, guilt, sleep problems, drop in energy, feelings of ”not being good enough”, wanting to die, and the list goes on.

Anxiety disorder disbalances

More or less we’ve all experienced it before. Still, for many people, anxiety is a constant struggle that interferes with their daily activities. Your teen can be extremely irritable, have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep,and as a result become easily fatigued throughout the day, struggle to concentrate at school, experience muscle tension, etc.

Social Anxiety – “Thanks” to social media and “life online”, it seems like most young people struggle with some level of social anxiety, and it’s becoming a common problem among teens population. Social anxiety causes teens to feel extremely self-conscious, rejection, offending others, being in constant fear of humiliation, embarrassment.

Addictions – Addiction and mental illness may occur together because the person will turn to drugs or alcohol to ”self-medicate” and ease their symptoms. This is why treatment is so important in adolescents who suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses. Parents should understand that drug abuse doesn’t only include illegal drugs, but it may also include prescription drug misuse and abuse.

Depression – From time to time we all get sad and it’s OK. However, the difference with depression is that these feelings of sadness won’t go away. If your teen girl if suffering from a depression, she may experience persistent feelings of anxiety, sadness, irritation, restlessness, lack of energy and feeling of emptiness. In addition to this, she may experience changes in appetite or weight, begin to talk slower than usual, struggle with memory/ concentration, and loose interest for the activities they loved doing it before. Feelings of hopelessness, a loss of self-esteem, and in severe cases have suicidal thoughts can be also some of the symptoms.

What You as a parent can do for your teen?

First of all as soon as you notice ”different” behaviour of your child, frequent mood swing and all symptoms as I outlined above, REACT. Take action. Anytime there has been a significant change in your teen’s behaviour, it is first YOU who should first address it with them.

  • Create and open, sincere and honest communication with them. Given the fact that one of the key issue between a teen and a parent is a lack of communication, make sure your kid knows he/she can rely on you and talk to you about everything and anything.

  • To make them more calm and comfortable remind them you were too once upon a time a teen girl who experienced similar emotions, fears and anxiety and invite them to share their own experience. However, watch and be careful not to be too critical and accusing them of anything that can only worsen the situation, so that they isolate themselves in their own world with no courage and motivation to share with you their experiences, fears and concerns.

  • Do not get offended or upset if they insist that nothing wrong is with them as many teens but also many of us become ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid when touching upon mental disorder or illness talking

Get help

If however you can not make it yourself for whatever reasons and you’re concerned that your teen boy is struggling with mental illness, schedule an appointment with your doctor and the counsellor or psycho therapist. They will likely be treated with a combination of eventual medication and counselling. Contact https://focusnow.eu

DOM & OBITELJMentalno zdravlje i psihaMladi i zdravlje

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