Most of us can remember when we were teenagers, right?! It can be an extremely difficult time of life. Hormones may be raging, and moods can match that! Each person has their own unique story to tell. Anxiety and depression often run rampant during the teen years.
Did you know that over 260 million people across the globe have anxiety disorders? And it is a fact that nearly every person, no matter where they live, come from, across the globe, experiences depression at some point in their lives. When levels and types of anxiety rise to a certain level, it becomes a diagnosable mental health disorder. You are at this time at a much higher risk of experiencing physiological problems, too. In general, improving your nutrition while decreasing junk foods and drinks, as well as overly processed foods, getting more and better-quality sleep, exercising, and making attempts to better manage your stress all help.
In teens anxiety and depression may look a little different than how adults experience it. Teens often do not tell us how they are feeling. Some things you can look for, especially if your teen cannot or will not identify what is bothering him/her, are changes in eating, sleeping, levels of energy, and physical complaints such as having a headache and/or a stomachache.
Life happens. Stuff happens. We live in a world where stress is all around us. It’s commonplace. We may not even know anymore what being stress-free means. So … how are we coping with all of this?
First things first – do we even have a problem with any type of addiction? What types of addictions are there? The obvious ones are alcohol and other drugs like heroin, cocaine, LSD, pot, etc. But there are other ways to be addicted. What about social media and/or your cell phone? How much you shop? Do you eat a lot of foods with sugar, starches, and grains? Are you doing it too much, neglecting other important things in your life?
Unfortunately, in this day and age, even very young children and certainly teens are getting hooked on lots of things that are … well … less than healthy. Addiction can be overt or covert. In other words, you might be able to see a kid using a substance or spend an abundance of time on an activity like playing video games, and the child does this to distraction.
Depression is a concerning mental health challenge right now at a time when normal life has been disrupted and outlets that children once had to be mentally healthy are gone. In addition, like adults, kids and teens have a lot to deal with right now!
Learning disabilities affect many children, teens and even adults. The renowned Mayo Clinic tells us that “a learning disorder is an information-processing problem that prevents a person from learning a skill and using it effectively. Learning disorders generally affect people of average or above average intelligence. As a result, the disorder appears as a gap between expected skills, based on age and intelligence, and academic performance.” Perhaps in many cases it is not that kids and teens cannot learn a skill and utilize it well, but it might take longer, and they might have to learn a different way than the average student, due to differences in brain wiring. Often a doctor who works with kids and teens with learning disabilities also works with those with brain-wiring disorders such as ADHD.
Bullying isn't discussed as much today as it probably should be. This is perhaps due to the fact that there are many other issues on a parent's mind, like how they are going to teach their children if school is moved back to online learning.
With many children spending more time online, not only is in person bullying still a problem, but bullying on line is even more common.
Any types of bullying that our children are experiencing is cause for concern and needs addressed.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.