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Causes of Teen Mental Health Issues

Your teen keeps on growing daily with constant changes. It is expected that they learn a new thing every day, and their mind and body also transform. But with these changes going on, how can you tell which changes are expected? At what point should you begin worrying about your teen’s mood swings?

Today, one in five teens is diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression and addiction . Moreover, teen mental health issues also include trauma, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia. However, it sounds scary to think of your teen developing a mental health condition. But as it is necessary to monitor your teen’s physical health, it is also essential to keep an eye on teen’s mental health. Mental health issues often emerge during the turbulent teen years and early intervention is one of the keys to successful teen mental health treatment.

The Predominance of Mental Illness

Mental illness is common among teenagers: around 22 percent of adolescents have severe mental breakage and about half of all the mental diseases hit by the age of 14.

However, having any mental illness does not make a teen weak. Like any physical health problem that can happen to anyone, mental health problems can also occur in any teen. Sadly, mental illness sometimes carries a stigma that makes many teens and their parents unsure to seek treatment.

Causes of Mental Illness in Teens

While all teens will experience periods of moodiness, crankiness, or anger, there are specific indications that could determine the presence of a severe issue, including:

  • Becoming socially detached
  • Prevalent moodiness, lasting for more than a few days
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Continuous anger, hopelessness, and irritability

Moreover, many factors can contribute to your teen’s mental health illness. These factors are as follows:

Biological factors

Biological factors refers to anything physical that can hurt a person’s mental health. Mental illness has a long history of biological-based evidence. It is not surprising that all human behavior is triggered by brain activity. Thus, it is understandable that sadness and fear derive from the brain.

Similarly, many mental health disorders have been linked to an abnormal balance of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are neurotransmitters that help nerve cells to communicate with one another and may cause messages not to be adequately delivered, leading to symptoms of mental illness.


Genetic factors are well-known to play a key part in the development of the mental disorder in teens. There are three common ways in which genetics can contribute to mental illness:

  • Genes control the organic changes in the brain, which can predispose a teen to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia.
  • Genes are also responsible for abnormalities in a teen’s development. This means mental disorders can develop as a result of deletions.
  • Genes can also influence one’s susceptibility to depression, anxiety, personality disorder, or substance use disorder. Teens who have a close relative with mental illness are more prone to developing their mental health disorders.

Brain injury

Any injury caused to the brain can lead to mental illness in teens, as the brain is the center for the nervous system and whole body. Many types of research have shown higher rates of substance abuse, mood, and psychotic disorders following a traumatic brain injury. Head trauma can cause loss to the brain along with brain tumors.

Infection or disease

Mental illness has been linked to certain viruses or infections. However, additional study concerning the link between infectious disease and mental health disorders is needed to continue to focus on the phenomena of viruses, conditions, and infections.

Substance abuse

Any substance abuse, particularly long-term use and abuse, can cause the development of mental illness in teens. Substance abuse can also result in increased symptomology in pre-existing mental illness. Studies have indicated that there is a strong connection between alcohol abuse and depression.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors tend to be difficulties that teens deal with daily. These factors are psychologically based but tend to be expected in a person’s life. Ecological causes of mental illness in teens are usually a result of their stress.

Dangers of Untreated Mental Illness in Teens

Unluckily, as many as half of the teens with mental illnesses go untreated. There are many reasons why teens don’t get the mental health treatment they need. Sometimes parents do not identify the need or don’t have the means to get their teen’s treatment. At other times, teens refuse services.

There are numerous dangers of allowing a mental health condition to go untreated. Some teens may drop out of school because of academic difficulties, while others turn to substance abuse. But it is necessary to seek treatment for your teen’s mental health issues. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns and seek their advice.

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