Different types of mental illness plague teens from all across Canada and throughout the world. Living as a teen is hard enough, but mental health disorders like general anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can further complicate teens’ lives. Understanding these disorders can identify why getting the right behaviour treatment is so important.
Growing Pains vs. Mental Health Disorders
It’s not uncommon for teens to go through mood swings or act out defiantly. Many people would even say, “That’s just a part of growing up.” However, there are common red flags that could indicate a serious issue instead of mere growing pains. Some of these include:
- Consistent destructive behavior
- Social withdrawal
- Drastic changes in weight or appetite
- Prolonged irritability
Enduring the distress and pain of mental health issues is not just part of growing up. It’s the responsibility of parents and adult caregivers to make sure teens have access to the resources they need to maintain positive mental health. However, when issues do arise, they need to be addressed appropriately. Ignoring a mental health disorder will only make it worse. Often, leaving a mental health issue untreated results in substance abuse as the individual attempts to self-medicate to relieve the pain they are experiencing. Unfortunately, this never works and makes mental illness more severe. Some of the treatment options to explore include:
Common Types of Mental Illness
Here are some of the most common types of mental illness that teens experience:
- Depression: Although there are varying degrees of depression, overwhelming gloom, and sadness are the hallmarks of this mental health disorder. Teens experiencing depression may suffer from low self-esteem and loneliness. They may also exhibit a loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. In some cases, those suffering from depression may also have suicidal ideations.
- Anxiety disorders: There are many different types of anxiety disorders. For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is marked by obsessive thoughts that lead to repetitive, compulsive behaviors, while post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can leave teens emotionally scarred from events that occurred during their childhood. Teens who struggle with these and other anxiety disorders are often uneasy or fearful about the future.
- Eating disorders: As many as 5% of teens and young adults struggle with eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia, or body dysmorphia. Particularly with teen girls, many of these disorders develop due to social pressures and society’s fixation on body image. Signs may include weight loss, a vocalized unhappiness with appearance, and immediately going to the bathroom following a meal.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Somewhere between 5–7% of adolescents struggle with this debilitating mental disorder. Teens who struggle with ADHD often find learning and concentration difficult. However, if teens seek help early enough, symptoms can decrease by almost 50% by the time they reach adulthood.
It’s vital to get the proper treatment for these mental health issues. None of the mental illnesses listed above go away on their own. Teens don’t grow out of depression or anxiety. Parents need to educate themselves about the extent of each condition so they can do a better job of supporter adolescents who are struggling. One way to do so is by reaching out for professional help.
How Venture Academy Can Help with Different Types of Mental Illness
At Venture Academy, our individualized behavioural treatment programs help teens begin to recover from different types of mental illness. During our residential treatment program, we offer transformative clinical services and 24/7 support to help teens build self-confidence, acquire helpful coping skills, and ultimately learn how to live a better life.