The teenage years should be packed full of exhilarating learning and life experiences. For many, this tends to be the case, as they scamper off building friendships, relationships, starting new hobbies, and pursuing career dreams. However, for some, life can be the complete opposite even at this tender age; they struggle to get to grips with the throws of life.
In today’s world of social media, teenagers face a new magnified challenge. Online bullying and body shaming are just two of the multitude of challenges which can lead to mental suffering. Whether you’re a worried parent or concerned friend, let’s take a look at a few ways of combatting teenage mental health problems.
How to Help Our Loved Ones
There are many forms of mental illness and being able to recognize the symptoms is the first step in dealing with an issue. They typically fall into a few categories such as emotional disorders like depression or anxiety; eating disorders and self-harm. As soon as you have a concern that someone may be going through mental difficulties, it’s time to act. Follow some of these tips to help get them through what's likely to be a difficult period:
• Be open to a conversation: This should normally be the first thing you do if you sense that something is not right. Don’t make the mistake of bottling it up and not speaking to your teenager. If you can show them you're comfortable with talking about subjects such as anxiety or depression, they should feel a whole lot more open too. Encourage and build this bridge of communication.
• Learn the warning signs: It’s not always obvious that a person is going through mental illness, but there are certain common patterns which sufferers can display. Be sure you learn about these and watch out for them, so you can help the teenager without delay. Examples of these include a loss of interest in the things they love, an abnormal worry about weight gain, and spending far more time alone than previously.
• Get clued-up on mental health: You want to be able to help as much as you can, so it’s vital to start reading up on mental health problems early on and being well prepared. By knowing more, you’ll have more confidence in helping someone get through any struggles. You can even take a course on the subject to boost your education.
• Don’t be afraid to get help: With so many types and severities of illness, it can be quite daunting to help a person on your own; and in some cases, you will not be able to assist without receiving outside support. Please accept the help if you get a chance. There are many professionals providing treatment programs and rehabilitation, such as Ignite Teen Treatment.
Mental health in adolescence has been around for a long time, but the pressure for teens is now immense, and we must do all we can to help. By following the advice given, you’ll be in a position to help someone in a way that truly matters.