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Teen Mental Health Issues - Is Your Child Alright?

    Teen Mental Health Issues - Is Your Child Alright?

    Being a teenager is not an easy time. At their age, teens go through a lot of changes in their life, both physical and mental. Dealing with all of these changes can feel overwhelming, and it’s not uncommon for teen mental health issues to happen as a result.

    Read on to learn more about what these issues are, as well as what parents can do to help their children.

    teen mental health issues

    Teen mental health issues

    Adolescence is a formative time. This is a turning point wherein teenagers are no longer kids, but are not quite adults yet. This is because their brains are not yet fully developed, and they may not have the skills that help them to make decisions and take different perspectives.

    This puts them in a situation where a lot of things can seem confusing, and it can also make them more vulnerable to mental health problems.

    During this time, parents need to pay extra attention to their teen’s mental health.

    Here are some of the more common mental health issues that teens can experience:


    Depression is one of the most common mental health issues that teens face. Most people might associate depression with severe sadness, but this is not always the case.

    Sometimes the symptoms of depression can manifest as a lack of interest in things. A person with depression might feel numb, or disinterested in activities that they used to enjoy. They might feel as if they’re just “going through the motions” of their day.

    Here are some of the symptoms of depression:


    • Sadness or feeling empty
    • Anxiety
    • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic


    • Has difficulty concentrating
    • Loses interest in hobbies


    • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts about death
    • Irritability
    • Feeling fatigued

    Depression is a mental health problem that parents need to take seriously. If you feel that your teen might be suffering from depression, it would be best to talk to them about it and get professional help.

    Try not to be confrontational, and instead, come from a place of love and understanding. Let your teen know that they can always turn to you for help if they feel that there’s something wrong.

    Depression: All You Need to Know


    Along with depression, anxiety is also a common mental health problem that teens face. Anxiety is a general feeling of fear or unease, even when there is nothing to be scared of.

    Some teens might feel anxious if they are being bullied. It’s also possible for teens to feel anxious about their future. Performance anxiety can also be a problem especially if they feel they are under a lot of pressure. Teens can also suffer from social anxiety, wherein a person is afraid that they might do something wrong in a social situation.

    As a parent, you are in a good position to help your teen with their anxiety. Try talking to them about it, and find out the root cause of why they’re feeling that way. You can also help your teen by teaching them mindfulness, and breathing exercises. This can help them calm down.

    It would also be a good idea to ask if they want to talk to a therapist if they’re shy or afraid of talking about some things with you.

    If your child doesn’t want to open up to you, don’t take it against them. It’s normal for teens to be secretive about certain things, and they might not yet be comfortable sharing these things with you.

    The best thing to do would be to stay supportive and be more understanding about what they are going through.

    teen mental health issues

    Lastly, teenagers can also experience eating disorders. The most usual eating disorders among teens are either anorexia nervosa; wherein a person avoids eating for fear of gaining weight, or bulimia; or when a person eats a lot of food (binge) and then throws it up later on (purge).

    During adolescence, teens go through a lot of changes in their body, and this can make them feel more self-conscious. They might have an inaccurate perception of their body and eating habits, which is related to having eating disorders.

    Key Takeaways

    It is important for parents to be supportive of their children, especially if they have mental health problems. Try to be understanding, and let your child feel that you are always there for them whenever they need help.

    Lastly, it’s also important to remove the stigma on seeking professional help. If you feel that your child might need it, then don’t hesitate to help them look for someone that can help them with their concerns.

    Learn more about Parenting and Adolescents here.


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    6 Facts Parents Should Know About Mental Illness in Teens – Penn Medicine, https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2017/may/teens-mental-health, Accessed December 2, 2020

    Adolescent mental health, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-mental-health, Accessed December 2, 2020

    Mental Disorders – Teen Mental Health, https://teenmentalhealth.org/mental-disorders/, Accessed December 2, 2020

    Mental Health and Teens: Watch for Danger Signs – HealthyChildren.org, https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/Pages/Mental-Health-and-Teens-Watch-for-Danger-Signs.aspx, Accessed December 2, 2020

    NIMH » Child and Adolescent Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/index.shtml, Accessed December 2, 2020

    Teen Mental Health: MedlinePlus, https://medlineplus.gov/teenmentalhealth.html, Accessed December 2, 2020

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    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated May 25, 2021
    Expertly reviewed by Jessica Espanto, LPT, MA, RPsy
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