Causes and Effects of Mental Illness in Adolescence

Causes and Effects of Mental Illness in Adolescence

For many adults, an interesting shift happens when they get older. A “built-in forgetter” often begins to function relatively well. That forgetter is set on erasing how hard it is to be an adolescent. As a result, many adults may not recognize when adolescents are struggling with mental illness.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Kids don’t have it as hard as we used to?” Maybe you’ve even caught yourself saying it at times. However, the truth is that teenagers have it just as hard as previous generations. Some may argue that they even have it harder due to the social media boom and the 24/7 connectivity of the internet.

Teens are facing mental illnesses at higher rates than ever before. This is especially true in a post-COVID-19 lockdown world. As a parent, it can be a scary thought to send your child out into a world when they are struggling. When you see your child suffering, it is only natural to want to get to the bottom of what exactly is going on. Roots Through Recovery can help you spot the potential signs of your teenager’s mental illness and get them the help they need to get on the road to recovery.

The Potential Signs of Adolescent Mental Illness

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Millions of young adults are living with a mental or substance use disorder and many either do not realize they have one or are not paying attention to the signs and not seeking help. In fact, of the 8.9 million young adults who reported having a mental illness in 2018, more than 2 in 5 went untreated and of the 5.1 million with a substance use disorder, nearly 9 in 10 did not get treatment.”

Some of the potential mental health signs to look out for in adolescents are:

  • The inability to concentrate or focus
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating
  • Loss of interest in friends or activities
  • Acting overly fearful or anxious 
  • Often expressing sadness or loneliness
  • The inability to accept reality
  • Excessive substance or alcohol use
  • Discussing harming themself or others

If you witness some of these red flags in your teenager, it may be time to seek treatment. One of the outcomes of this treatment will be figuring out the root cause of this young person’s mental illness.

The Potential Causes of Adolescent Mental Illness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “There is no single cause for mental illness,” and there are “[S]everal factors [that] can contribute to risk for mental illness.” Some of these factors include:

  • Early instances of childhood trauma, such as child abuse, sexual assault, or instances of violence 
  • Traumas associated with ongoing or reoccurring medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes
  • Biological factors, such as chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Excessive use of alcohol or other substances
  • Constant feelings of loneliness, abandonment, or isolation

These are just a few of the potential causes of adolescent mental illness. However, no matter what the reason, mental illness can have some drastic effects on the lives of teenagers. The effects also often follow them throughout their lives if left untreated.

The Potential Effects of Adolescent Mental Illness

Mental Illness in adolescents often causes very dangerous and toxic behaviors. According to the CDC, “Mental health problems in youth often go hand-in-hand with other health and behavioral risks like increased risk of drug use, experiencing violence, and higher risk sexual behaviors that can lead to HIV, STDs, and unintended pregnancy.” 

However, these are not the only effects of mental illness in adolescents. Some other effects of adolescent mental illness may include:

  • Disruption to academic achievement
  • Feeling tired and experiencing sleeplessness
  • Engaging in self-harm
  • Violence toward others
  • Suicidal ideations and suicide attempts

While these effects can be quite scary, it is essential to remember that there are solutions that can help. Roots Through Recovery has several therapy and treatment options that can help teenagers work through their mental health issues. By receiving treatment, they can go on to be the happy and healthy young adults that they deserve to be.

How Roots Through Recovery Treats Adolescent Mental Illness

Roots Through Recovery takes an individual approach to all of our client’s mental health needs. This includes our younger clients. 

We have several options when it comes to treating mental illness. Some of these options may be more traditional, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). However, we also provide holistic wellness options like meditation, yoga, and diaphragmatic breathing. We also offer more neuroscientific options like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

With an individualized plan of attack, we have found that mental illness does not have to dictate a young person’s life. No one wants to see their kids have a hard time, no matter what. Roots Through Recovery is here to help.

The causes of adolescent mental health issues are widely varied. No two teenagers are alike, thus neither is any individual teenager’s mental health. These causes may include trauma at home, excessive social media use, substance use disorders (SUDs), and experiences of social discrimination. Just as there are various causes for mental health issues, there is also a multitude of effects. These effects may include anxiety and depression, lack of sleep and energy, self-harm, and suicidal ideations. If you feel that someone you love is struggling with mental health issues, reach out for help today. Roots Through Recovery is here for you. For more information on our treatment options, contact us at (562) 473-0827.

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