Hamilton, March 2, 2023
March 2 is World Teen Mental Wellness Day. It is a day that aims to raise awareness about the psychological problems that teenagers face. This day is about making an effort to educate everyone and destigmatize something that is becoming more and more common.
As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to his or her community. ”
The world for our teenagers
Unfortunately, mental health problems are common among teenagers, who make up 16% of illnesses and injuries in people aged 10 to 19. Mental health problems begin around age 14 and often go undiagnosed and untreated. Suicide and depression are some of the leading causes of death among teens and can even lead to other problems such as substance abuse in later years.
People often don’t understand what teens go through, and the stigma associated with mental illness can make teens reluctant to ask for help. This day encourages open conversation and awareness to help teens around the world.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders faced by young people today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in five young people between the ages of 13 and 18 will experience a mental health disorder, with anxiety and depression being the most common.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability in young people worldwide, with about one in eight children and adolescents affected by anxiety disorders.
The causes of anxiety and depression in young people can vary, but some of the most common factors include school stress, social pressure, trauma, and genetic predisposition. The Covid pandemic also exacerbated mental health problems among young people, with the disruption of routines and social isolation leading to increased anxiety and depression.
The causes of anxiety and depression in young people are complex and can range from genetic predisposition to environmental and social factors. Factors such as academic pressure, social media, and family dynamics can all contribute to the development of these mental disorders.
Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, a psychiatrist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, believes that the increasing prevalence of anxiety and depression among young people is due to a combination of social and environmental factors. She said: “Young people today face a lot of academic and social pressure. The constant pressure to perform, together with the influence of social media and technology, can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.”
The symptoms of anxiety and depression in young people can manifest in a variety of ways, including changes in mood, behavior, and physical symptoms such as headaches or abdominal pain. These symptoms can be challenging to identify, and many young people may not recognize that they have a mental health disorder.
According to Dr. Kapoor, early identification and intervention are crucial in managing anxiety and depression in young people. She states: “It is essential to recognize the signs of anxiety and depression early and seek professional help. Early intervention can help prevent the development of more serious mental disorders and improve outcomes for young people.”
What can be done
Treatment options for anxiety and depression in young people include psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help young people learn coping strategies and manage their symptoms.
Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist and senior director of the Child Mind Institute, believes that parents and carers play a vital role in supporting young people with anxiety and depression. He states, “It is important for parents to create a supportive and non-judgmental environment for their child. This may include encouraging open communication, setting realistic expectations, and offering reassurance and positive reinforcement.”
Control your mind
There are several steps young people can take themselves to manage their anxiety and depression. This can include practicing self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time in nature, as well as seeking social support from friends and family.
Dr. Shyam Bhat, a psychiatrist and founder of Mindfit, believes that building resilience in young people is crucial in preventing anxiety and depression. He states: “Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity. By building resilience, young people can learn to cope with stress and overcome challenges, which can prevent the development of mental disorders.”
Building resilience in young people can be achieved in a variety of ways, including social support, mindfulness and physical activity. Dr. Bhat recommends regular exercise as a way to improve mental health and build resilience. He states: “Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is also a great way to build resilience and manage stress.”
It is important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. By prioritizing mental health and seeking professional help when needed, we can improve outcomes for young people and help them live happy and healthy lives.
Praneeta Mahajan is one Indian news link reporter based in Hamilton.