Mental illness is hypernym that encompasses distinct diagnosable mental health ailments, disorders, diseases, and conditions, that involve changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). The Mayo Clinic explains that mental health disorders in young people are “generally defined as delays or disruptions in developing age-appropriate thinking, behaviors, social skills or regulation of emotions. These problems are distressing to children and disrupt their ability to function well at home, in school or in other social situations.” There are a variety of different types of mental illness that affect the adolescent population, some of which include, but are not limited to the following, provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine:
- Attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as an inability to control impulsive behaviors, difficulty focusing and/ or paying attention, and/ or being overly active.
- Conduct disorder (CD): The Child Mind Institute explains “Conduct disorder is a severe condition characterized by hostile and sometimes physically violent behavior and a disregard for others.”
- Eating disorders: The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) defines eating disorders as “serious medical illnesses marked by severe disturbances to a person’s eating behavior.” The different types of eating disorders are categorized under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders and listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The three main types of teenage eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
- Mood disorders: The Mayo Clinic explains that mood disorders are characterized by a distortion of one’s general emotional state and/ or mood that is inconsistent with the current circumstances and interferes with one’s ability to function. Mood disorders include adjustment disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
- Substance use disorder (SUD): The American Psychiatric Association explains substance use disorder, colloquially referred to as addiction, as a complex, neurological “condition in which there is uncontrolled use of substance despite harmful consequence.”
The three the most common diagnosed mental health illnesses in young people are:
- Depression: clinically referred to as major depressive disorder, is characterized by persistent and intrusive feelings of emptiness, sadness, and/ or anxiety
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): is characterized by excessive and debilitating worry about everyday matters
- Social phobia: is characterized by severe feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity in social settings
Data presented from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that an estimated 49.5% of adolescents aged 13-18 in America had AMI (any mental illness). Of the 50% of adolescents with AMI, approximately 22.2% had severe impairment. Mental illness is highly common among teenagers in the United States and is increasing at an alarming rate.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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