Mental health issues in adolescents

posted on Jul 18, 2022 | Author Dr Bhavna Barmi and his team

Mental health is a kind of effective performance of mental function that results in productive activities, relationships with others as well as the ability to adapt to the environment. Mental well-being is a condition in which a person achieves their potential or can also cope with the daily activities of life, work productively and participate in community work.

Mental health problems in adolescents have a remarkable problem relatively common to treatment, intervention or solution. Adolescence is a crucial period for the development of social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. Supportive and protective environments at school and in the family are important. Multiple factors affect mental health. Some of these disorders can interfere with a patient’s ability to understand or express their health concerns and to adhere appropriately to recommended treatment.

Adolescents with psychiatric disorders may take psychopharmacological agents that may cause menstrual dysfunction. Teenagers with mental problems engage in acting out behaviors and substance abuse. Media influence and gender directives can also increase the inconsistency between adolescents’ lived reality and their perceptions of the future.

Other important factors may be the quality of their home life and their relationships with their peers. Hard parenting, violence can also affect mental health. Due to living conditions, stigma, discrimination or lack of quality support, some adolescents are at greater risk of mental health issues. Socio-economic issues can also recognize mental health risks. Mental illness manifests itself through an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

This is a common developmental feature of adolescents, who experience a wide range of emotions. It’s kind of a classic, for example teenagers can experience anxiety in the content of their school life and in their relationships with their friends. Although mental health disorders are indicated by ongoing symptoms that affect the way a young person feels, acts, thinks. These types of disorders can also interfere with daily activities and daily functioning such as school-related work, relationships with family and friends, sleeping and eating habits. Depression and anxiety can be causes of illness in adolescents.

Emotional disorders

Emotional disturbances are common in adolescents with chronic and recurrent psychiatric disorders associated with significant impairment. The majority of children with emotional disorders become normal adults, only a minority develop neurotic disorders in adulthood. Many emotional disturbances occurring in childhood appear to be exaggerations of normal developmental tendencies rather than phenomena that are in themselves qualitatively abnormal. Anxiety and depressive disorders can affect school work. There are common symptoms between anxiety and depression, such as rapid and unexpected mood swings.

Eating disorders

Two important syndromes are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexic disorder is a disorder characterized by deliberate, patient-induced and sustained weight loss. The disorders occur more complicated in adolescent girls and young women, but adolescents and young men may be affected more rarely, as can children approaching puberty and older women through menopause. The disorder is associated with undernutrition of varying severity, leading to secondary endocrine and metabolic changes and disturbances in bodily functions.

Diagnostic indications: Weight loss is rarely induced by the avoidance of fatty foods. Body weight is maintained at least 15% below the expected value.

Bulimia nervosa is a syndrome characterized by repeated episodes of overeating and excessive concern for body weight control, leading the patient to take extreme measures in order to lessen the fattening effects of ingested food. The age and sex distribution is similar to that of anorexia nervosa. Repeated vomiting is likely to lead to disruption of body electrolytes, physical complications (muscle weakness) and even greater weight loss.

Diagnostic guidelines: There is a persistent preoccupation with eating and a craving for food, the patient succumbs to the overeating episode in which large amounts of food are consumed over short periods of time.

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety is described as unpleasant feelings of tension, fear and worry. Social phobias begin in adolescence and are centered on the fear of being examined by other people in relatively small groups, which usually leads to avoidance of social situations. Social phobias are as common in men as in women. The fear of vomiting in public can be significant. Direct face-to-face confrontation can be particularly stressful in some cultures. Social phobias are generally associated with low self-esteem and fear of criticism.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts or compulsive acts. Obsessive thoughts are ideas, images, or impulses that enter the minds of individuals over and over again in a stereotypical format. Compulsive acts or rituals are stereotypical behaviors that are repeated over and over again. Obsessive compulsive disorder is as common in men as it is in women.

The disorders of schizophrenia are characterized by fundamental and characteristic distortions of thought and perception and by inappropriate or blunted affects.

Depression is common in adolescence. The main characteristics of depression are loss of interest in activities, low energy or sadness.

Substance use disorders or risky behaviors include use of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, opioids, sedatives or hypnotics, cannabinoids, cocaine use, other stimulants including caffeine, tobacco or volatile solvents. Characteristics of drug addiction may include lying, stealing, poor school performance, changing circle of friends, inability to sleep at night, mood swings.


Symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations or delusions. Delusions are defined as false beliefs while hallucinations are the perception of something that is not present. These symptoms can affect the person’s ability to participate in activities of daily living and further lead to stigma.

School phobia

School phobia or also known as school refusal is the irrational fear of going to school. This may be due to issues with difficult exams, bullying in class, or a lack of confidence. It occurs alongside social phobias and other phobias.

Conduct disorder

Conduct disorder is defined as disruptive behavior and is characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of dissocial, aggressive, or defiant conduct. Such behavior, when most extreme for the individual, should amount to major violations of age-appropriate social expectations and is therefore more serious than ordinary childish malice or adolescent rebellion. Conduct disorder is frequently associated with adverse psychosocial environments, including unsatisfactory family relationships and academic failure. Conduct disorder is more commonly seen in boys. Symptoms may include stealing, lying, breaking rules, or attacking people.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It is a kind of disorder in which there are difficulties in getting attention, hyperactive, acting like an impulse. ADHD usually begins in childhood and can even continue into adulthood. It can also lead to low self-esteem, conflicted relationships and even a state of complexity at school and at work. It is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. It’s a kind of medical condition. ADHD can be treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and medication.

Stigma of mental illness is a mark of shame or disapproval that causes an individual to be rejected by others. People don’t ask for help when they need it for fear of being labeled as mentally ill. To improve mental health issues, it is important to reduce the stigma of adolescent mental illness, which can be done by talking openly about mental health, providing information about the causes and effects of mental illness, treatment and support services must be provided. Negative stereotypes about mental illness are the causes of the stigma associated with mental illness. It is therefore important to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

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