Mental health is a growing concern for young people all over the world. According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, and the number of adolescents with mental health disorders is rising. Rehabilitation advocates like Jeremiah Kitavi in Sonoma County, CA, know mental health is often viewed as the absence of mental illness. The good news is that there are many ways to get help for these disorders. Here we will discuss some of the most common mental health disorders among youth, and we will also talk about ways to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness.
What Is Mental Health In Youth?
However, mental health is a state of wellbeing in which an individual can cope with the everyday stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their community. Mental health is not static; it can change throughout an individual’s life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24. This stage of life is characterized by rapid physical, psychological, and social changes. For example, young people typically navigate new roles and responsibilities, such as working or attending school full time. They may also be forming intimate relationships and starting families of their own. These transitions can be exciting and challenging, impacting mental health.
Mental illnesses are common among youth – about 1 in 5 young adults in the United States experience a mental illness each year. However, despite this prevalence, mental health is often under-recognized and undertreated among young people. Barriers to identification and treatment include lack of knowledge about mental health and mental illness, stigma, and access to care. As a result, many young people do not receive the support they need to thrive.
It is important to remember that mental health is not just the absence of mental illness but a state of overall wellbeing. Promoting mental health in youth requires effort and investment from individuals, families, schools, communities, and society. When we invest in the mental health of our young people, we set them up for success now and in the future.
What Are Some Common Mental Health Disorders Among Youth?
Jeremiah Kitavi says many mental health disorders are increasingly impacting young people. Some of the most common include:
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness among youth. They are characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and panic that interfere with daily activities. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
Depressive disorders are characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities that an individual once enjoyed. These feelings can interfere with school, work, and personal relationships. Examples of depressive disorders include major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder.
Eating disorders are a type of mental illness characterized by abnormal eating habits and a preoccupation with food, weight, or body image. Eating disorders can lead to severe health complications, including malnutrition, organ damage, and even death. Examples of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a mental disorder characterized by focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity problems. It can impact school performance, social interactions, and employment.
Jeremiah Kitavi says bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme mood and energy changes. These changes can interfere with an individual’s ability to perform daily activities.
If you or someone you know is struggling with any of these disorders, it is essential to seek professional help from a mental health therapist. Mental health professionals can provide support and treatment to improve symptoms and quality of life. In some cases, prescribed medication may also be necessary to manage the symptoms of mental illness.
Why Is Good Mental Health Important For Our Youth
It is important to pay attention to mental health for several reasons. For one, mental health is critical for our overall well-being. When we are mentally healthy, we can think, manage our emotions effectively, and healthily cope with stress. Mental health also plays an essential role in our physical health; research has shown a strong link between psychological and physical health. For example, people who suffer from depression are more likely to experience heart disease and stroke.
Furthermore, Jeremiah Kitavi says mental health is vital for our youth because youth that suffers from mental illness are more likely to be incarcerated. 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health diagnosis. Therefore, it is clear that paying attention to mental health is vital for our overall well-being and the well-being of our society as a whole.
Throughout the world especially in more developed nations we have made tremendous strides in increasing the living standards more than ever before. However, we are more disconnected than ever before. Technology has made things easier to connect with people, but the true value is being connected with other humans. We all must realize that we all have our internal battles, some of us worse than others. But if we look at each other with love and compassion we will not only see a better America but also a better world. I’m passionate about this because I want to see my community do better by being more inclusive to other groups of people that are often seen as a liability rather than a human being with value. Thank you for reading and become better because you matter.