Not all teens struggle with mental illness. However, most teens might have a hard time with the emotional, psychological, social, and physical changes that are occurring in adolescence. At some point, teens might experience sadness, confusion, anxiety, or worry. It is normal for teens to go through these experiences from time to time.
However, when symptoms persist, then there might be an illness that a mental health professional needs to assess and possibly treat. Only one in four teens will experience a psychological illness.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that even if a teen is not diagnosed with a mental illness, there are many aspects of their lives that need attention. For instance, a teen (with the help of parents and caregivers) may need to focus on their emotional, psychological, social, and physical well being.
In fact, parents and caregivers can help teens to stay well physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially so that they can:
- Successfully navigate the challenges of life.
- Develop fulfilling and healthy relationships.
- Adapt to change as they grow into adulthood and beyond.
- Use healthy and appropriate coping mechanisms for stressful circumstances and feelings.
- Realize their potential.
- Have their basic needs met as well as other emotional and self-actualizing needs.
- Develop skills that help them navigate the different environments they inhabit.
There is a lot that can contribute to teen mental illness. However, when a teen can manage all of the following aspects of life, they are more likely to maintain a positive well-being:
Taking Care of Their Body
Taking care of your body means giving it what it needs to stay healthy. These are sleep, healthy food, plenty of water, and exercise.
We all experience stress differently, and the ways we manage stress will also vary from person to person. There are a variety of ways you can respond to stress when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, confused, or tired.
Being Emotionally Aware
Teens won’t be able to manage their emotions unless they know how to manage stress. Because emotions are unpredictable, they can come on strongly at times and create a stressful experience.
By learning how to manage emotions, equivalent to the ability to manage stress, depends first on a teen’s level of emotional awareness. Developing a relationship with their emotions, that is, becoming more aware of them, teens can better understand what they are feeling and how to respond to them.
There are many different ways teens can learn to manage their time. Although some time management tools are better than others, the important point now is that teens have tools to manage their time effectively. This skill will come in handy later. Even after college, having a busy career will demand the ability to manage time well.
Following Their Gut
Most teens are good at following their intuition because their logical part of the brain hasn’t fully developed. However, parents and caregivers can promote this in their teen as much as possible. They can encourage their teens to following the hunches they have about a situation.
However, parents and caregivers should remember that even if teens are doing all of the above, this won’t necessarily prevent mental illness. Genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain can also contribute to psychological illnesses. Yet, the above tips can help prevent mental illness in teens.
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