Signs of mental illness in your teen

March 15, 2018

Dealing with short-tempered teens can be devastating. Your teen may feel like you do not understand them. As a parent, you should watch out for various symptoms so that you can take appropriate action. Signs that could indicate mental illness include:

- Clinical depression
- Reduced or low self-esteem
- Questionable isolation
- Being overly emotional and crying easily and unexpectedly
- Too much sleeping or not sleeping enough
- Harming one’s body
- Drastic weight loss or gain

These are the most common signs of clinical depression, although it is better to seek professional diagnosis than to simply assume.

Eating disorders can also indicate the presence of mental illness. Some teens will not eat enough and they will seek to exercise too much. This may be in a bid to avoid becoming overweight. This unrealistic view of their body can cause great distress for them.

Use of drugs or other substance abuse is another common indicator of mental illness. Unusual behavior, hangovers, and slurred speech could point to possible drug abuse. Also, some teens will have strange items or drug paraphernalia in their rooms. These signs should never be ignored. While some youth will use drugs to medicate other deeper issues, some teens will develop mental illness after using drugs. Even prescription medications like Xanax and Vicodin must be kept under lock and key.

Other signs that can point to mental illness include the sudden poor academic performance with no good explanation. Other teens may lose interest in things they used to enjoy before, such as sporting activities and other hobbies. Many will also develop anger issues where they become overly aggressive compared to before. Some teens may become extroverted when their nature is introverted. Parents should take note of any changes.

For more on how to detect various signs of mental illness in your teenager, check out Dan Gellman’s excellent resource article on FamilyShare.

If you have a reason to believe that your child is at risk, there is no need to panic. At Casa Pacifica, our qualified medical experts will help your teen find the right direction to tackle any underlying issues. Contact us today and let us help you.

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