When it comes to kids and teens, good health is essential. Mental health is also a key way of defining emotional and social well being. Your teen needs good emotional health to grow in a healthy fashion, be resilient and handle everyday life’s challenges well. Teens and kids who have great emotional health usually:
– Feel happier and more positive about life and the future. They are less anxious and agitated. Also, kids and teens who eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest have better self image. They are more likely to have realistic goals and be able to reach them.
– Do not wait for signs to become apparent. Kids and teens who seek help when they are sick usually recover quickly. If something seems to be wrong with them, however, it’s important to get help right away to avoid the serious medical complications that can arise if they do not get treatment.
In addition, kids and teens with good social skills and low stress levels are more likely to have positive social relationships and be able to cope with school, friends, family, and other people. Teens who are well adjusted to have higher self esteem than those who are not. In fact, a study of twins revealed that those with better parental supervision were likely to have better mental health and fewer psychiatric diagnoses. Those with family ties tend to have healthier lifestyles, are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, and they also have better academic performance. It is no surprise then that healthy eating habits, social interaction, and exercise are associated with better mental health for kids and teens.
Even though these are important aspects of good life, there are other mental health problems that affect teenagers and teens as well. Some of these include depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and anxiety. While many of these situations will improve as the person gets older, untreated depression can continue to affect them into adulthood. With proper mental health care, this issue can be managed and, in some cases, even eliminated.
Another common mental health problem that affects teenagers and teens is school performance. Students who are constantly feeling bad about themselves or have poor grades are at greater risk for substance abuse, depression, and substance use later in life. If they have both physical and mental health problems, school performance is affected even more. It is not uncommon for depressed or anxious students to slip during testing time and flounder in school. In order to get professional help for their school performance, parents should make sure that their teenager is getting individual attention and that the teen is receiving cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medication.
Even though teens may be having school performance problems, they might also be displaying signs of suicidal thoughts. There are many signs of suicide such as withdrawal from friends, trouble making it through class, and cutting class to escape issues. If your teen exhibits any of these symptoms, he or she might need to see a doctor for professional help. Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of depression, which in turn can cause self-harm. Before your child decides to take his or her life, seek out professional help to determine what the real cause is.
Teens who are struggling with depression, substance abuse, and school performance problems may also be at increased risk for suicide after seeing a physician for disorders. Teens who are depressed but are not on antidepressants may show signs of depression in ways other than a clinical depression. A pediatrician will take a complete history and note all medical treatments the teen has had. He or she may show the child’s overall health, but a thorough history of mental health is necessary. If a parent or teacher notices anything out of the ordinary, a physician should be consulted to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing the teen’s behavior.