Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents

Mental Health Disorders

Adolescence is a formative period that brings about significant changes for individuals physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Adjusting to these changes can be particularly challenging and without the right support, it can lead to mental health issues in adolescents. Prolonged mental health concerns can further lead to mental health disorders that require timely interventions and support.

According to the WHO, depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders are a few of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. Hence, it is important to understand what leads to these disorders and what can be done to help adolescents through this transition phase with the right kind of support. 

Factors That Affect Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents

Some of the factors that can lead to  mental health disorders in Adolescents are:

Physical and Biological Changes

The onset of puberty brings about a lot of physical and biological changes such as brain development and hormonal changes, which can lead to a state of vulnerability to mental disorders. Genetics also play a role here, as some mental health disorders run in the family.

Emotional Changes

New experiences and challenges such as stress related to academic performance, maintaining relationships, and coping with the changes within oneself are common in adolescence. The inability to cope with these changes harms the mental health of adolescents.

Social and Environmental Changes

The immediate family environment plays an important role in an individual feeling supported and provides them with the ability to cope with challenges. In the absence of this, adolescents may experience a sense of identity crisis and confusion. Peer pressure is also prominent during this phase and leads to socio-emotional concerns as the pressure to keep up with peers can get stressful over a period of time.

Mental Health Disorders

Mental Health Disorders Found in Adolescents

There is a range of emotional and psychological difficulties that can develop during adolescence. Some of the common ones are:

Depression: This is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and a lack of interest in daily activities. 

Anxiety: Worrying and fear to meet expectations and deal with the pressures from the environment may lead to disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and phobias.

Conduct Disorder: This disorder is characterized by aggressive, defiant, or destructive behaviors which may occur due to failure in school, neglect, and traumatic life experiences.

Eating Disorders: Pressures to look a certain way by society and media can lead to abnormal eating habits leading to disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

Mental Health

Steps to Cope With Mental Disorders in Adolescents

1.  Seek Professional Support

Seeking support from a mental health professional can help adolescents understand how to cope with the stressors that come up during this period of transition and work through these changes in a healthy manner.  Some of the best mental health apps ensure that individuals who require help have timely access to mental health professionals. Wysa is one such mental health app that provides you access to mental health professionals and a range of tools to help you build awareness of the challenges you may be facing and enables you to learn to cope with stressors independently.

2.  Engage in Self-care

A self-care routine helps adolescents develop healthy habits in relation to sleep, eating, and physical health. Taking some time out for physical activity and mindfulness can help to cope with stressors during adolescence. Engaging in self-care further improves overall mental health and well-being. 

3.  Focus on Your Sleep Schedule

Our sleep cycles determine the quality of life we enjoy, so it is important to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Good sleep can help with maintaining energy levels and improves one’s overall mood.


Mental health disorders in adolescents affect their physical and mental well-being and the way they engage with their environment. During this period, they are susceptible to several concerns and it is important to have a supportive environment to help them through this difficult time. The causes of mental health disorders are multifaceted and complex, yet they are treatable with early interventions. Seeking professional help can help adolescents and their families to be informed about their concerns and can help them manage their mental health. 

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