In the face of an epidemic of suicide, school shootings, and other horrible tragedies engulfing and often destroying the lives of teens across the country, many wonder what could possibly lead to the rising prevalence of these problems.
One of the most important underlying causes behind this issue is the lack of treatment and understanding behind mental illness.
Many teenagers today suffer from severe mental health problems such as depression and/or anxiety. Often, this is coupled with a difficult home-life or the lack of resources necessary to treat their illness.
This applies both to an increase in instances of suicide and an increase in mass shootings. An important distinction between these two types of mental disturbance is that mass shooters often do not have an easily recognizable and treatable diagnosis. While these individuals may not struggle with Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, etc., there is clearly something seriously wrong with their mental health.
This is just one reason why we need more understanding for mental health issues, especially pertaining to teens. Misinformation or ignorance can lead to misunderstanding pain, and bars the mentally ill from being able to actually address their problems.
It's imperative that we treat teens as quickly and effectively as possible and make them aware of their options so that their issues do not continue to worsen.
While understanding alone can not cure mental illness, it may aid those who are struggling in their journey. Teens should always be given the resources necessary to improve their mental condition before it's too late.
Free, unbiased, information regarding the most common mental health conditions in America.
While depression is one of the most common mental mental health issues, affecting more than 25% of Americans, it is frequently misunderstood. Depression, otherwise known as Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression, is a common and serious mood disorder In extreme cases, depression can inhibit someone's ability to function on a daily basis. It can be hard to get out of bed or to complete other simple tasks.
Anxiety, also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, is also one of the most common mental health issues, affecting around 10% of Americans. Anxiety is defined as a persistent, irrational worry that affects nearly every aspect of the sufferer's life. It can take shape in different things, like social interactions, simple decisions, etc.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and affects nearly 15% of Americans. ADHD had two aspects - inattentiveness and hyperactivity. The first hinders people with this disorder from being able to focus on tasks or topics for an extended amount of time, while hyperactivity often leads to impulsive/compulsive behavior and decisions. Typically people with ADHD tend to fall into three types: inattentive, hyperactive, or a combination of the two.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which sufferers go through alternating episodes of depression and mania. Depressive episodes often cause feelings of sadness, emptiness, and low self worth, and often makes it hard to complete simple tasks. Manic episodes cause feelings of elation, extreme happiness, narcissism, and lead sufferers to make risky, impulsive decisions. These episodes can last for weeks or months at a time.
Typically characterized by an abnormally low body weight, Anorexia is an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with Anorexia usually severely restrict the amount of food they eat. No matter how much weight is lost, the person continues to fear weight gain.
Unlike Anorexia, Bulimia typically does not have a noticeable effect on a person's weight. Bulimia causes a sufferer to deal with stress by consuming extremely large quantities of food, and then attempting to limit the caloric intake of the food by purging in some way; typically through self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or fasting. One's mental health can not always be determined by their appearance.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a severe, life-threatening, and treatable eating disorder that causes recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food; a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards. Unlike bulimia, sufferers typically do not try to prevent caloric intake. This is the most common eating disorder and most severe mental health affecting physical crisis in the United States.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (or OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviors. While it is typically regarded as a cute quirk or preference for neatness, it can actually be extremely harmful and is a serious mental health condition. OCD can often include extremely intrusive thoughts that degrade a person's quality of life and ability to succeed.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.
Post Traumtic Stress Disorder, commonly known as PTSD, is a condition that occurs after someone experiences a great deal of pain, often being assaulted or abused in a relationship. Symptoms may include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood.
Although Schizophrenia is not as common as other mental health conditions, the symptoms can be very disabling. While there is a generally negative stereotype surrounding this illness, these individuals are almost never violent. Instead, they experience hallucinations and severe anxiety.
Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously called Multiple Personality Disorder, is usually a reaction to trauma as a way to help a person avoid bad memories. It is typically characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality identities. Each may have a unique name, personal history, and characteristics. The mental health of individuals who struggle with this disease should be respected and understood, not feared. People with DID are not violent.
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