Mental health disorders in teens are common – and on the rise. By some estimates, one in five youth is believed to have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Teens are especially susceptible to mental health disorders due to environmental stressors, genetic predisposition, or some combination of the two.
When it comes to stress, the teen years can be particularly challenging. Teenagers are faced with all kinds of unsettling experiences, including a multitude of physical, social, and emotional changes they’re going through. It doesn’t help that many teens haven’t yet learned how to deal in a healthy way with many of the challenges they face. Perhaps that’s why many teens with mental health disorders often act out, using their behavior and/or drugs and alcohol to try to cope the best they can.
Yet, mental health disorders rarely get better without treatment. Left alone, these concerns can continue to grow and fester. Ultimately, your child’s mental health will affect their ability to learn, form lasting relationships, and make good choices that allow them to reach their full potential in the future – as well as affect their overall health and well-being.
Which Disorders Affect Teens?
There are many mental health concerns that occur in teens, including:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Body dysmorphia
- Emotional regulation difficulty
- Gender identity issues
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Self-esteem issues
- Sleep disorders
- Trauma disorders
The most common in teens are ADHD, anxiety, depression, and trauma. We’ll take a look at these four biggest mental health challenges for teens below.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is probably the No. 1 neurodivergent condition among children and teens. That’s mainly because this is when the signs of ADHD typically first appear. ADHD cannot be cured, but it can be successfully managed, so your teen can control their symptoms, improving their ability to learn and interact with peers and family members.
High expectations are a common reason for anxiety. Among teens, this may come from parents, teachers, peers, friends, and themselves. Teenagers regularly walk a tightrope between seeking validation and approval from the authority figures in their lives – and the desire to rebel against those same authority figures. It’s a naturally problematic time that can be incredibly anxiety-inducing. The problem may be compounded by drinking and drug use, nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and more.
Depression is a serious medical illness. It can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, lethargy, and a lack of motivation. It may also appear in teens as anger, aggression, and risk-taking behavior. When a teen has depression, it can affect how they think, feel, and behave. It is not just moodiness – and it is certainly not just in your mind! If you notice changes in your teenager, especially if they no longer seem to want to engage in activities they used to enjoy, it may be time to see a mental health professional well-versed in diagnosing and treating teenage mental health issues, such as depression.
When a teenager experiences something traumatic, it can trigger a mental health disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adjustment disorders, and attachment disorders. What qualifies as traumatic is subjective and depends entirely on how your teen views or experiences the incident. Common examples of trauma include abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one, and witnessing violence. A trauma disorder typically involves some combination of other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Trauma disorders can cause significant disruption in the life of a teen and their loved ones.
Mental Health Treatments for Teens in Denver and Lakewood, CO
At Denver Wellness Associates in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, we treat patients of all ages. Our providers are especially adept at treating teens with mental health disorders.
To get your teenager the right kind of mental health treatment and care, contact Denver Wellness Associates in Denver or Lakewood, Colorado. Call or text us at (720) 724-3668, email us at email@example.com, or simply request an appointment right now.