Warning signs of teenage mental illness: No parents ignore their teen’s broken bones or other signs of physical injury. Yet, when it comes to a teenager’s mental health, signs of an existing mental illness can go untreated for months or many years.
Sometimes this absence of treatment is because parents do not identify the warning signs of teenage mental illness. Other times, parents worry that their teens will get labeled as crazy if they go for help. But many times parents do not understand that early intervention and proper treatment are the keys to helping their teen feel better. If you doubt that your teen may have a mental illness, take professional help right away.
Warning Signs of Teenage Mental Illness
Differentiating a mental illness from hormonal changes, teenage phases, and normal mood swings can be challenging. But it is necessary to monitor your teen’s mood and behavior and, if you notice changes that interrupt their daily life, this likely is not normal. Mental illness shows differently in every person. Some warning signs of teenage mental illness include:
Willing to stay in isolation
A strong desire to be alone or excessive secretiveness may also be a sign that a mental illness condition might exist.
Loss of interest in everyday activities
If your teen discontinues their favorite activities or shows no or a lack of interest in spending time with friends, they may be experiencing a mental illness.
Significant changes in academic performance
Mental health issues often direct to surprising changes in motivation to do school work. If your teen has lost curiosity in doing their homework or they suddenly fall behind in school, it could be a sign of a mental health illness.
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Changes in sleep habits
Your teen may complain of insomnia (lack of sleep) or might start taking naps after school. Wanting to be in bed all day or having the desire to stay up all night can also be symptoms of a mental health issue in teens.
Weight or appetite changes
Skipping meals, collecting unnecessary food, and rapid weight changes could all be symptoms of an eating disorder. Depression is often described by weight changes as well.
Excessive anger, spontaneous weeping, and high levels of crankiness can be a sign of mental illness in teenagers.
If You See Warning Signs
If you detect any of these signs in your teenager, it enables you to remember that mental health issues are generally treatable. Additionally, a mental illness does not mean your teen is crazy. Instead, it simply means that they require awareness of their mental health. Similar to the way some teens form physical health conditions such as asthma or acne, others develop mental health conditions.
If you doubt any mental illness, stay calm but take action. Rather than spend months stressing about the problem, commit to finding out the solution, if your teen could aid from mental health treatment.