About 20% of teens are affected by at least one psychological disorder. The expert psychiatrists say this situation is alarming as most teens are now introverts, with some psychological disorders like depression and anxiety spreading fast.
Moreover, personality disorder, trauma, schizophrenia-like mental issues also taking place. Therefore, the reason behind eating disorders and obesity in teens can be some specific mental disorder.
Diagnosis of Psychological disorders in teens is not an easy task. The psychiatrist needs the help of the parents to understand the behavior of the affected teens.
Top 5 Psychological Disorders Of Teens
Major depression is the most common psychological issue in teens in the USA. Around 33% of all mental issues affecting teens. According to some reports, girls are more affected by major depression than boys.
A period of low mood for at least two weeks is recognized as major depression or clinical depression. It’s quite easy to identify. The signs may include;
- Won’t be excited about any interesting activity,
- Lack of self-esteem,
- Lack of activity,
- Loss of appetite,
- Lack of concentration.
Adolescence syndrome is the common cause of major depression. But there can be so many other causes. Such as hurting the feeling of the teen, bullying, inferiority complex, body shaming, poverty, etc.
If your child is suffering from major depression, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. Major depression can lead to trauma, schizophrenia, and other complicated conditions if not treated.
During some specific events, teens can go through stress and anxiety. It’s common and nothing to worry about. But if this anxiety becomes a habit and affects daily activities, then it’s a matter of concern.
Teens with anxiety cannot be confident about their work. Their daily activities cannot be done properly due to anxiety disorder. They cannot talk to anyone, cannot participate in group work. They feel shy and fears almost everything.
Anxiety syndrome can lead to various physiological and psychological disorders such as stress ulcers. Some teens try to get rid of anxiety by taking anti-anxiety pills without a prescription, which is dangerous and can be fatal.
Parents should observe the activities of the teens. If there is any sign of regular anxiety, they should take their teen to a doctor.
Eating disorders in teens may include anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. Amongst them, the most dangerous one is anorexia nervosa, with the highest mortality rate. Starvation, metabolic collapse, and suicide can be the consequence of anorexia nervosa and lead to death.
Some overweight and obese teens try to get rid of fat overnight. However, starting an extreme diet without proper knowledge can lead to an eating disorder and physiological collapse. The eating disorder can be the consequence of other psychological disorders also.
Teens with eating disorders try suicide and other self-harming behavior so often.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Schizophrenia begins to develop in the adolescent period. It grows over time and reaches high intensity mostly after 30 years of age.
People with schizophrenia eventually get away from reality. They live in a world that is far from the truth. It’s become impossible for them to understand information. At the serious stage, the person cannot recognize friends or family.
Schizophrenia is a very complicated phycological condition, and it starts during adolescence. Therefore, the parents should observe their teens if any unusual behavior is seen.
Teen Trauma and PTSD
Any tragic events that impacted directly or indirectly the adolescent can lead to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). Causes of PTSD in teens may include; tragic accidents, natural disasters, fires, crimes, childhood abuse, the death of a parent or other family member, and other tragedies and childhood trauma.
If there is one single traumatic event, it’s called “acute trauma”. Acute trauma can lead to PTSD. A traumatic experience can last months.
If a traumatic event is ongoing such as child abuse, it’s called “chronic trauma”. Both acute and chronic trauma can lead to PTSD. Both are dangerous.
Common Causes For Psychological Disorder in Teens
- Excessive use of smart devices is one of the major in this modern world. Teens are addicted to mobile and other electrical devices. They are far from social gatherings, family events, and friends. They don’t have any real friends to share anything with.
- Academic pressure, parent’s expectations, job pressure are also culprits here. Teens are not that matured to cope up with all this pressure.
- The teen’s brain is still growing. They have an immature prefrontal cortex. Until this region of the brain gets matured, it’s hard for them to take the right decision and stay happy all the time.
Teens Need Treatment For Psychological Conditions
If parents notice any unusual activities or behavior of their teens, they should take their teen to a psychiatrist. 80% of teens with mental issues do not receive any treatment.
Residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization could be the possible treatment plan for a teen’s mental issues.
Final year MBBS student