The teenage years can be difficult for both children and parents. While your child’s body changes in multiple ways, it’s not always easy to tell what’s normal and what’s not. According to medical statistics, one area of health that often goes undiagnosed is mental health.
While more than 1 in 5 children between the ages of 9 and 17 has a mental health disorder, many of them aren’t diagnosed until adulthood. To keep this from happening to your child, here’s what you need to know.
Why Are Teenagers Affected By Mental Health Disorders?
The answer to this question is not a simple one. As your child’s mental health and cognition develop, some disorders will become more obvious.
In some cases, mental health disorders are set off by the changes in hormone levels that come with puberty.
In others, environmental or lifestyle changes such as new school, new learning expectations, or peer pressure can be the cause.
To complicate matters further, certain mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and phobia are generally known to start presenting at an early age.
Common Mental Health Disorders in Teenagers
Instead of listing every single possible disorder that can affect teenagers, health professionals find it easier to group them. These are the mental health disorders that are most likely to affect children between the ages of 9 and 17.
- Anxiety disorders – General anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Mood disorders – Major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Disruptive behavior disorders – Conduct disorder and oppositional-defiant disorder.
- Personality disorders – Paranoia, anti-social behaviors, and borderline personality disorder.
- Eating disorders – Bulimia, anorexia, and binge-eating.
- Thought disorders – Delusions, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.
Of course, as medical information is updated, this list will continue to grow so it’s best to keep up-to-date with what’s happening.
Typical Signs of a Mental Health Disorder in Teenagers
The signs you’ll need to look out for will vary according to the mental health disorder so it’s unlikely that you’ll see everything on the list. However, these are a few of the common signs persons may notice.