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Common Mental Health Problems in Teens

teen learning about common mental health problems in teens

How do you effectively treat mental health issues in teens? The most common approaches include evidence-based techniques that healthcare professionals recommend, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). However, it’s also helpful to completely understand the mental health issue in question and then be an active participant in diagnosing and choosing the ideal treatment for your teen.

Identifying teenage mental illness symptoms can be difficult. Most teens are moody and emotional because they’re going through dramatic physical and mental changes. However, mental illness in teens involves changes that are much more observable. These observations could make diagnosing and treating your teen’s mental health issues easier to navigate.

Searching for dialectical behavior therapy options for teens near Denver, CO? Reach out to Imagine Fort Collins today by calling 970.680.5887 or contacting our team online.

What Are Common Mental Health Problems in Teens?

Below are some of the common mental health issues in teens.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Teens struggling with BPD lack a stable sense of self and may not know how to process emotions. These teens have no firm identity and extreme emotional instability, making it difficult to connect with others.

Lacking a clear sense of self, they could feel isolated, desperate, chaotic, and anxious. Therefore, encounters and scenarios that should be relatively easy to manage become difficult.

DBT was originally created to treat BPD, and now it’s recommended for all cases that are difficult to treat with traditional and evidence-based treatment.

Eating Disorders

Teen eating disorders include the following:

  • Anorexia
  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Bulimia

Anorexia has the highest death rate of any mental health concern. Fatalities often result from starvation, metabolic collapse, or suicide. Therefore, it is one of the most dangerous teen mental disorders.

Teen eating disorders produce extreme disturbances in eating behaviors and therefore physical health. However, they also affect teenage mental health. Eating disorders almost always co-exist with other mental health issues. Hence, teens with teen eating disorders tend to be moody, anxious, or depressed. Teens with eating disorders are also at a greater risk for developing substance abuse and self-harming behavior.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

It’s not always easy to tell when typical teen stress crosses over into anxiety. However, teens with an anxiety disorder experience particularly high levels of anxiety that don’t decrease over time. They usually get worse.

GAD is the most common teen anxiety disorder. This condition involves excessive anxiety or worry over everyday events. Moreover, the anxiety lasts for a prolonged period of time. Teens with GAD experience intense emotional stress, as well as a range of anxiety-related symptoms.

Additionally, teens with anxiety disorders struggle with feelings of tension and fear that can interfere with daily activities and close relationships.

Major Depression

Depression is actually one of the most common mental disorders among teenagers in the U.S., and the rate of depression cases increases yearly. Also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, major depression is a severe form of depression. It significantly affects the quality of life.

A major depressive episode is a period of at least two weeks of low mood, which should be present in most situations. Teens with major depression find it difficult or impossible to do normal daily activities, such as working, studying, sleeping, and even eating. Furthermore, those who have gone through one episode of major depressive disorder are at a high risk of having another.

Substance Use Disorder

Teens can use addictive substances to self-medicate their mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or unresolved trauma. Substance use then becomes an unhealthy and dangerous coping mechanism for symptoms of other mental disorders. As it develops into a mental health issue, it results in dual diagnosis cases.

Unresolved Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

After terrible events, those who were impacted, whether directly or indirectly, may experience lasting emotional responses that need resolving. When unresolved, such trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Whenever unresolved trauma or PTSD is involved in a case, trauma-informed treatment is recommended for the patient. This simply means that, whether or not the treatment focuses on the trauma itself, everything concerning the patient should be considered with their trauma in mind.

Do Teens Need Mental Health Treatment?

Yes! With the number of common mental health problems in teens, it would be a public health issue if they didn’t have access to professional mental health treatment.

However, it’s important for parents and caregivers to remember that getting their teens into the best possible mental health treatment program ensures the highest success rate for recovery. They should also be completely involved in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment process when it comes to mental health issues in teens.

It would help if parents and caregivers and their teens were well-versed in not only the common mental health problems in teens but also in the typical recommended treatment for them. For example, along with CBT, DBT is a common recommendation for teens. DBT can be a very effective treatment for teens struggling with extreme anxiety, severe depression, and other problems.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

As mentioned above, DBT is a therapy that can treat various mental health issues in teens.

It involves the concept that people struggle due to a mix of biology, lack of skills, and invalidation in their lives. Therefore, DBT creates success for patients through teaching helpful skills and providing supportive validation.

DBT for teens differs from DBT for adults in several key ways, the most significant of which is that DBT for teens includes more than just the patient and the therapist in its sessions. Parents and caregivers can also be included. In fact, caregiver involvement is a critical piece of getting the most improvement.

Ready To Learn More About Imagine Fort Collins’s Behavior Dialectical Behavior Therapy Options?

If you’re looking for dialectical behavior therapy options for teens near Denver, CO, contact Imagine Fort Collins today. Reach out to our team online or call 970.680.5887.