Teenage Mental Health

Mental Disorders are a physical affliction of the brain’s functioning. These disorders have multiple causes and symptoms results from the complex interactions between a person’s genes and their environment. The spectrum of mental challenges is wide. The most common trials the mind faces are anxiety disorders, mood disorders (depression, bipolar) personality disorders (obsessive-compulsive), eating disorders (anorexia-bulimia), psychotic disorders (schizophrenia) and addiction. Having a mental disorder is not a choice. Mental challenges occur amongst people of all cultures and socio-economic classes. People with mental challenges are not stupid, weak or violent. In fact, the opposite is the reality – they are generally intelligent, talented, strong of character and kind to a fault.
What are the signs?
There is much cross over between mental disorders – many signs are similar. Medical help should be sought to determine the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Emotional/Behavioral Signs:
– Feeling Sad, Moody or Irritable
– Feeling Worthless or Blame Yourself – “I’m a Failure”
– Not Interested in Activities – Stop Seeing Friends, Not Playing at Recess or Sports
– Angry Outbursts that are Out of Character
– Having Negative Thoughts that Don’t Go Away
– Having Thoughts of Death or Hurting Yourself

Physical Signs:
– Feeling Tired, No Energy
– Weight Gain or Loss
– Unable to Sleep/Sleeping Too Much
– Headaches, Stomach Aches

Thinking Signs:
– Having Trouble Concentrating
– Forgetting Information
– Difficulty Making Decisions
– School Grades Dropping

Additional Warning Signs:
– Out of Control Risk Taking Behaviors
– Overwhelming Fear with no Apparent Cause
– Severe Change in Mood/Temperament
– Severe Behavioral Changes
– Ongoing Use of Drugs/Alcohol

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