Teenage Mental Illness


Between eight class periods full of tedious work, extracurricular activities, making time for friends or relationships, and finding a place to cram dinner, the norm for teenagers today is not to be “lazy, feeling a false sense of entitlement, rude, selfish and always staring into a screen” like many adults claim, but rather to be teenagers who are trying to discover life while dealing with more stress than Twenty One Pilots. As John Locke once said, “Parents wonder why the stream is bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” Why so many adults today pin the problems of the future on the next generation is beyond me.

Many high school students deal with mental illnesses on top of the stress that comes naturally with occurrences in their lives. In fact, 1 in 5 of children, 13-18 years of age, have developed or will develop a serious mental illness. Whether it’s because of an anxiety disorder, one of the many forms of depression, other mental illnesses, or a combination of these, many teenagers are struggling tremendously. It’s hard enough for these children to just go through everyday life, but when you add overwhelming academic tasks, family problems, and other issues, it feels almost as if it’s impossible to keep going.

Often, these students break down completely, which if a chemical imbalance is present, can lead to much larger issues. When in these situations, the individual can lose control often being described as “blowing up,” harming themselves or potentially, another person. Mental illnesses can be difficult to deal with by themselves but with all these aspects piling up, positive coping strategies can become strenuous to act upon for the individual.

However, positive coping strategies are present for helping to overcome mental illnesses. Often, counseling or psychiatry can help to overcome the troubles that come with obtaining chemical imbalances or relating aspects. If these two methods do not work, teenagers can frequently convey their feelings through art, writing, or any other method of expression that contributes to the recovery process. Mental illnesses in teenagers are, sadly, quite common but can be overcome or helped through many different processes.