In the adolescent phase, children face a series of changes in their behavior, hormones, physical body, and social responsibility. These factors can lead to many types of mental health disorders, which can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken immediately.
According to the World Health Organization, one in seven adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 suffers from a mental health disorder, representing 13% of the global burden of disease in this specific age group. Depression, anxiety and behavioral problems are among the leading causes of illness and disability in adolescents.
Role of Parents in Managing Child’s Mental Health
Failing to address a teenager’s mental health status has many consequences that extend even into adulthood. It harms both physical and psychological health. Many parents find it difficult to address their children’s mental health disorder, and some fail to even identify that their child is suffering from such a disorder. The mental illness that a child faces in adolescence is totally different from mental problems in adulthood.
The adolescent phase is crucial for developing social and emotional habits for mental well-being. As a guiding principle, parents should teach their children to engage in regular exercise practices, sleep well, and develop interpersonal skills. Children’s environment at school and at home plays a vital role in keeping them healthy.
The more risk factors they are exposed to, the greater the impact on their mental health. Risk factors detrimental to mental health can be paranoia, mood swings, eating and sleeping disorders, or pressure to conform to peers. Additionally, strict and tough parenting and socio-economic issues can also negatively affect a teen’s mental health. Parents should keep a close eye out for red flags shown by their children.
Don’t Miss Red Flags
Behavior disorder : Behavioral disorders are more prevalent in children than in adults, leading to mental illnesses if not treated with appropriate measures. According to the WHO, these disorders can affect the education of adolescents, and conduct disorder (difficult behavior) can lead to criminal behavior. This occurs in 3.1% of 10-14 year olds and 2.4% of 15-19 year olds.
Eating disorder: Eating disorders in adolescents are a common practice. These are abnormal eating practices and eating concerns, causing the adolescent to worry about their body shape and weight. Suddenly leaving a quantity of food consumed can have serious repercussions on physical and mental health. These disorders can extend into adulthood if not taken care of in the early stages.
Psychosis: According to a WHO study, conditions that include symptoms of psychosis typically develop in late adolescence or early adulthood. Symptoms can include delusions or hallucinations and impair adolescents’ ability to participate in daily activities and education.
Unnecessary substance use: Risky behaviors, such as substance use (alcohol, tobacco, drugs) or sexual risk-taking, begin in adolescence. Many use it to overcome emotional difficulties, but it is a useless strategy. Such risky behaviors can impact physical and mental well-being.
According to the WHO, the prevalence of episodic heavy drinking among adolescents aged 15-19 was 13.6% in 2016, with men being most at risk. Tobacco use and smoking are an additional concern, and the right parenting attitude should be reflected on children to overcome these risky behaviors.
An MBBS, MD, Anil Singh Shekhawat said The Logical Indian“Alcohol is the most common drug that has been found to increase suicidal ideation and suicide, more so in men. Alcohol makes you more impulsive to take risky actions, impairing your judgment and power decision-making because it acts on the brain’s prefrontal cortex.”
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