It can be difficult to spot the signs of anxiety and depression in young people.
Teenagers in particular experience moods swings as a natural part of puberty.
Although mood swings are normal in young people, one warning sign is if they become much more extreme than before.
Dr. Aaron Krasner, an adolescent psychiatrist, explains:
“Only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive necessary mental health services.
As a society, we have to do a lot better than that.”
Here are 10 warning signs to look out for:
- Self-injury or self-destructive behaviour.
- Changes in physical health or appearance.
- Frequent outbursts of aggression or anger.
- A new group of friends.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Neglecting personal hygiene.
- Difficulty coping with problems and daily activities.
- Alcohol and/or drug abuse.
- Threats of harm to themselves or others.
- Persistent nightmares.
Similarly, large changes in performance at school or in everyday behaviour can also be important signs.
Dr. Aaron Krasner said:
“Teen mental health issues are ‘family affairs’—they can have a devastating effect on families, and it’s essential that the entire family is involved in working through them.”
If you know someone who seems to be showing these signs, keep the lines of communication open.
They may need to talk.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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