Mental Health Disorders in Teens
Over the last few decades, mental health disorders have reached epidemic proportions in the teenage population. As research continues, it is becoming more and more evident that mental health disorders in teens is a multifaceted problem that almost always requires professional help. Although there is no single cause of mental disorders in teens, there are many factors that are known to contribute to teenage depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder and OCD. The following is a short list of mental health risk factors for teens:
- Low Self Esteem
Teens face many pressures in today’s society. They must look a certain way, behave a certain way, do certain things and say the right things at all times. These pressures are often too much for teens who are still developing their personal identities and learning about how they fit into society and the world as a whole. Thus, it is incredibly common for teens to feel inadequate in one or many facets of their social milieu. Left unchecked, low self esteem can quickly evolve into clinical depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders or other serious mental health disorders.
- Trauma or Stress
Many teens today cope with stress that is beyond a normal amount for their age level. Stressful events at home such as divorce, family strife or loss of a loved one can make teens more susceptible to developing a mental health disorder. Furthermore, many teens have had past experiences which are too difficult for them to cope with alone such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse, accidents and injuries or witnessing a troubling event. Left untreated, teens who have experienced trauma or extreme stress are many times more likely to develop mental health problems than teens who have not. Finally, teens who are bullied or do not fit in at school are at a high risk of developing mental health disorders. It is important that teens who are bullied receive prompt and adequate support, as bullying can have severe and lifelong effects on its victims.
- Mental Illness in the Family
Teens who have a blood relative that suffers from a mental health disorder are much more likely to develop a disorder themselves. If mental illness runs in your family, it is important to monitor your child closely and pay special attention to other risk factors such as stress, trauma, low self esteem, weight gain or loss, etc. Although having a relative increases your risk of mental health problems, a healthy lifestyle and good relationships can lower your teen’s risk significantly. This is why intervening in the early stages is paramount.
- Use of Alcohol and Substances
A child who is using alcohol or drugs, even casually or in minimal amounts, is at a high risk for developing a mental disorder. The teenage brain is still developing and the effects of drugs and alcohol on this fragile system can be disastrous. Depression is a common effect of certain drugs like crystal meth and alcohol and the more they are used, the more they can deepen or exacerbate a developing mental health disorder over time. If your child is using substances, even only rarely, you should consider the fact that they are likely suffering from or developing a mental disorder as well.
Mental Health Disorders Treatment for Teens
Adolescent Growth provides a holistic approach to treatment for teens who suffer from mental health disorders including but not limited to clinical depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, oppositional defiance and more. Our multifaceted approach to treatment takes into consideration your child’s mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual health and our multidisciplinary program reflects that.
Every teen who walks through our doors is treated with an individualized plan that takes into consideration their unique needs, their strengths and weaknesses and the strides that they make throughout our program. Each treatment plan impacts your child’s mental health in the following ways:
Individual therapy forms the backbone of our rigorous program. In one-on-one therapy with a licensed clinician, teens with mental health disorders have the opportunity to explore the deeper feelings behind their disorders, learn the connection between their thoughts, words and behaviors and come to develop a stronger sense of self. Individual therapy is provided up to four times per week for teens in need of intensive instruction and care.
Group therapy is an invaluable way for teens to form strong bonds with their peers in recovery and receive support from teens just like them under the careful instruction of a licensed professional. Groups allow teens to explore their feelings, learn powerful tools for recovery and develop new, healthy relationships with peers. Groups are tailored to the needs of the individual teens in our care and focus on topics including emotion regulation, anger management, mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, life skills and much more. Guided by a licensed professional, teens learn new ways of facing life in a fun and engaging atmosphere of mutual respect.
Adolescent Growth views your child’s mental health disorder as a problem that affects the entire family. Family therapy, parent support groups and our signature Multi Family Restoration workshop all address the issues that arise in the family when one member is unwell. Often a mental health disorder in teens causes a great deal of chaos in strife in the family system and our three part family program addresses individual relationships, supports parents and restores order to the family in a fun and innovative weekly workshop designed to support your family as a whole.
Physical Fitness and Nutrition
Recovery from mental health disorders requires special attention to the physical needs of the client as well as emotional needs. To that end, Adolescent Growth provides daily physical fitness instruction at a state-of-the-art gym. Teens at Adolescent Growth learn the benefits of physical fitness and exercise and quickly come to love their daily fitness routine. To compliment this program, all meals at Adolescent Growth are planned by a registered dietitian who has tailored each meal to the special needs of adolescents. Meals are eaten at the dining room table and meal time is a much loved social event for the teens in our care. A healthy relationship with food and the body are essential to good mental health.
As a compliment to the other facets of our holistic program, teens at Adolescent Growth are encouraged to embrace their own spiritual beliefs and inclinations as a source of strength in recovery. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, non denominational church attendance and prayer are encouraged and the 12-Step model of recovery is taught as a set of principles on which to build a healthy and meaningful life. Teens in our care often find or rediscover their spiritual side and cite their own spiritual beliefs as a primary source of comfort and inspiration.
Help for Teens With Mental Health Disorders
We are here to help. Call Adolescent Growth for a free consultation any time, day or night at 888.948.9998.