How to spot mental health illness in teenagers

Mental health is a very fragile thing and more common and misunderstood than you may think. In order to be aware of the symptoms of mental illness, it important to recognise the signs, particularly in regard to teenagers.  If you are a parent or a guardian and suspect your teenager is not quite their usual self, it could be the onset of some sort of mental illness or depression. Mental illness can take many different forms and is a complex area of health but, as a general rule, the sooner professional help is sought, the sooner the problem can be improved or resolved.

Through carefully managed rehabilitation programs, children can be helped to get back to their usual self. This is not something that can simply be cured overnight, it will take time and effort. Rehab for teens is usually very effective but it’s of crucial importance that the rehab clinic has the necessary expertise to treat teenage patients. Teenagers do have mood changes, it’s all part of growing up, but if you do notice any of the signs detailed below, it may be worth asking questions and seeking professional help if necessary.

Signs that your teen may be experiencing mental illness

How to spot mental health illness in teenagers

Sudden mood changes

Although some of the mood changes seen in teenagers are hormonal in origin, depression and very erratic mood changes may be cause for concern and warrant professional intervention.

Difficulty in concentrating

If your teen is having difficulty concentrating or focusing on a task when previously they were focused, it may be a sign of the onset of depression or other mental illness. As a parent, you will notice this. If it continues for a significant amount of time, it may be time to seek professional help.

Sudden weight loss or gain

Some symptoms of mental illness manifest themselves in eating habits. Sudden weight loss or weight gain can be a sign of some underlying issues that require prompt attention.

Lack of interest in hobbies

If your teen previously enjoyed a hobby or pastime and then suddenly lost interest, this could be a cause for concern. Although teenagers can change their interests with regularity, you will notice if this is unusual for them.

Intense overreactions

You know the character of your teen so if they start to really overreact to routine situations or problems, it may be a sign that all is not well. If these overreactions happen over a prolonged period of time, it could be a sign of the onset of something serious and professional help should be sought as a matter of urgency.

Physical ailments

If your teen has always been relatively fit and healthy, regular bouts of illness and ailments may be cause for concern. If they do show poor health over a period of time for no apparent reason, it may be time to seek help.

 

The signs detailed above are not necessarily signs of mental illness. However, such signs should be taken seriously if they continue over a prolonged period of time, are extreme or there’s a combination of a lot of them together.  Hopefully you will notice it’s not just typical teenager behavior and that something is off.  If you have any concerns about whether your teenager’s behavior is normal or not then seek advice. There are sources of help available if needed, simply find support groups and resources online or speak to your local GP.

 

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