Common Mental Illnesses In Teens To Be Aware Of

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Mental illness is rife in teens, with 20% of young people suffering from a mental health issue. As a parent, you are most likely quick to take your teen to the doctor for a rash, a high fever, or a stomach bug, but what about signs of mental illness? 

Due to the prominence of hormones, it isn’t always easy to notice mental health problems in teenagers. If you are worried, then familiarize yourself with the most common mental illnesses in young people so that you know exactly what to look out for. 


Depression is a common mood disorder that can affect anyone, with the symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. With depression being the leading cause of suicide, it is especially crucial to understand what to look out for in your teen. 

Those who suffer from depression usually show less interest in hobbies, are irritable, and show little motivation. If you think your teen may be suffering from depression, then have a look at a teenage depression treatment program

Eating Disorders

There are a number of eating disorders, with the most common being anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Eating disorders mainly affect girls and women, with the most common age group being teens, making it an especially important mental illness to watch out for as a parent. 

The symptoms for each eating disorder vary. In anorexia, for example, the sufferer tends to be severely underweight and obsessively keeps track of their calorie count. In bulimia, however, a common sign in binge eating and forcing the self to vomit. All eating disorders are extremely dangerous and require medical treatment, so don’t ignore any warning signs in your teens. 

Anxiety Disorders 

Anxiety is a common disorder that makes the sufferer feel nervous, fearful, and can sometimes cause panic attacks. If your teen talks about feeling nervous a lot, or they seem to be isolating themselves, then it could be a sign that they are suffering from anxiety. 

Fortunately, there are excellent treatments for anxiety, including medications and counseling. It’s important to let your teen know that they can talk to you about any worries, so if you notice any warning signs, start an open conversation about mental health. 

Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder causes both manic episodes and depressive episodes, and the symptoms change depending which on which one. During a manic episode, some common symptoms include recklessness, exaggerated self-confidence, and talking quickly. If you notice your teen sometimes behaves in this way and other times seems depressed, then they could suffer from bipolar and need medical treatment. 

Substance Abuse 

It can be hard to come to terms with your teen abusing substances like alcohol or drugs, but it’s better to stop it in the early stages. If your teen seems to be more secretive and showing signs that they are not sober, then it is time to open a conversation. Instead of blowing up at them, try to approach them with sympathy. This way, they will be more likely to come to you if something goes wrong. 

While mental illness in young people is common, there are ways to treat it. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, then seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent it from getting any worse.

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The chief editor here at Billboard Health, wife and Mother of 1, Nutritionist and goal getter.

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