In the recent past, there has been a rise in the number of youths diagnosed with mental illness. The most common fall into the categories of mood disorders like depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, stress-related disorders, substance-abuse disorders, disruptive-behavioral disorders, ADHD, OCD, personality disorders, and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. These conditions are accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
- Ongoing hopelessness and lack of motivation
- Outbursts of anger
- Dramatic changes in eating habits and/or weight
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Dropped performance in school
- Becoming rebellious or acting out
- Using drugs or alcohol
If any young person you know is demonstrating any of these signs, you can help him/her get the professional help they need from betterhelp vs talkspace. This online platform offers counseling with the help of licensed therapists.
Certain factors cause or make the youth more susceptible to mental illnesses. The more the risk factors a person is exposed to, the greater the potential impact on their mental health. These may include:
1. Genetics and other biological factors
Genetics have been proven to play a significant role in influencing the state of a person’s mental health. If there’s an imbalance of chemicals like neurotransmitters, cells don’t communicate properly and may send messages wrongly. Genes are in charge of governing organic changes in the brain. This explains why feelings of sadness, fear, etc. originate in the brain. All human behavior is greatly influenced and triggered by brain activity.
Since the brain is the control center for the nervous system, an injury to this important organ can cause mental health issues in a person. Injury to the brain may be caused by head trauma, brain tumors, infections or diseases, and prenatal damage that occurs during difficult births.
2. Substance abuse
Long-term abuse of different types of drugs and alcohol can cause the development or worsen the symptoms of mental illness in youths. Even stimulants like caffeine, when used over a long period, can contribute to issues such as anxiety.
3. Environmental factors
Environmental factors are stressors that the youth have to deal with daily. Common environmental factors that cause mental health issues include low self-esteem, bullying, chronic illness, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, unstable home environment, loss of a loved one, and pressure at work or school.
How to tell if youths with mental health issues are considering suicide?
Parents need to be aware of everything that’s going on in their child’s life. Not only academically and physically but also emotionally. Youths who have any kind of mental health problem are at high risk of committing suicide. Some of the warning signs to look out for include:
- He/she talks about committing suicide
- He/she expresses hopelessness about the future
- He/she displays severe emotional pain or distress
- He/she shows worrisome behavioral cues or marked changes in behavior
The life of the average youth is full of numerous emotional ups and downs. During this time many people are struggling to fit in and are susceptible to bullying, trauma, family dysfunction, and social ostracization. All these can trigger mental health issues. This explains the high occurrence of many mental health issues among the youth across all countries and cultures.
As a parent/guardian, you need to learn how to identify when your child needs mental health support. Always trust your instincts and arrange to meet a professional. Early recognition and intervention are key and give great results.