Which mental disorders affect teens most?

Mental disorders are not just a problem for adults. Many disorders start during adolescence, but unfortunately, many teens go undiagnosed because of lack of awareness of their vulnerability to mental illness or because symptoms are written off as typical teenage behavior. Too often, teens don’t get treatment until they need emergency care due to a suicide attempt or other major incident. Getting treatment early for mental disorders can prevent complications in the long term, so for teens who are suffering, care is essential. Here is a look at some of the most common mental disorders to affect teens.

Depression
Depression —also sometimes called major depressive disorder or clinical depression—is common in teens. Without treatment, teens can experience poor grades, social isolation, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms of depression can affect nearly every part of life. Some common signs of depression in teens include:

  • Weight changes
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Changes in peer group

Eating Disorders
Teens are vulnerable to anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Young women are most likely to develop these disorders, but an increasing number of males are experiencing them as well. If teens don’t get treatment, the impacts on their physical health can be life threatening.

Eating disorder symptoms vary depending on the disorder. Some signs that the disorders have in common are:

  • Preoccupation with food and weight
  • Food rituals, such as only eating one kind of food or excessive chewing
  • Withdrawal from social groups
  • Mood swings

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia typically presents itself in the late teens and early 20s for men. Women may not develop the disease until their late 20s. However, in many cases, early warning signs for schizophrenia appear during adolescence. If teens can get treatment when these initial symptoms appear, they can often achieve better control of their disease and prevent serious future complications.

Some signs of schizophrenia in teens are:

  • Sleep changes
  • Complaint about being watched or talked about
  • Disordered thinking
  • Hallucinations

If you’re a teen or parent concerned about mental health, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here to help. Getting a diagnosis is a crucial first step, so contact our hospital in San Jose for a physician referral . Call (888) 762-8881 to find a physician who is right for your needs.

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