We have come to a point in humanity where the previously judged and stereotyped have now become a huge part that defines us as people. From extreme hate and misunderstanding, we have come to love and appreciate the LGBT community. From misdiagnosing and shame, we have come to embrace and understand the mental health issues of the world. And from controlling and manipulating our youth, we have come to allow them to be free to be passionate and express themselves. We have come a long way from the stereotypes that previous generations have created for us. We now live in a world that is more accepting and appreciative of change.
Our world is now in a place where we can let our children go out and be whoever they want to be or to love whoever they want to love. But one thing that has been plaguing our children for quite some time is mental health issues. Did you know that mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years, this is according to an article published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This can be very troubling, especially according to the same article, half of all mental health conditions start by the age of 14, and some are unfortunately undetected and left untreated. What is even worse is that suicide is the third leading cause of death for those ages 15-19. This is why if we do not start educating ourselves on what to look out for and what to do, our children and the people we love may become yet another statistic.
Among the teens, there are three common mental health issues that they may experience. The first one is Anxiety. This is when they excessively worry about everyday matters—next, Social Phobias – a severe feeling of self-consciousness and insecurity in public settings. Of course, depression or the persistent feeling of sadness, anxiety, and emptiness.
With this in mind, we have to be more aware of how our children have been behaving. We should never have prejudice over their actions or non-reaction because sometimes, our child sleeping too much or weight loss can already be signs of them going through mental health problems. This is the time to re-evaluate things at home or how you may have been interacting with them, or maybe you have not even talked to them for some time. We have to be a part of our children’s lives, although we have to respect their privacy, their opinion, and their passions. Having your child is not your chance to get back at your parents for their bad treatment. Make sure that you do your best to play a role in your child’s life without being too much for them.
Believe it or not but how we treat them and how we talk to them has a big effect on our children. If you do not believe me, then think back to a time when your parents have caused you pain. Maybe they pointed out insecurity, or they told you to stop your passion because it was not worth the effort. See? Those things have stuck to you after all this time. Do you think your child does not go through the same thing?
As parents, we have to make sure that our children are at their best mental state because their mental health affects everything, from their bodies to their performance in school to forming friendships. The best thing we can do is to express themselves freely without fear of judgement or punishment. We should never punish our children for something that makes them happy. We have to learn how to support them the best way we can because that is what parents do. Making them feel loved, appreciated, safe, and cared for is another thing we can do to make sure that our children are in the best state of mind.
Nothing happens to our children without reason. Teenagers do not just act the way they do because they do not care or want to. There are always valid explanations as to why our kids are the way they are, and we have to understand and educate ourselves on the things that we can do that may help them get through and overcome the things they are experiencing.
Mental health issues should never be taken lightly. We have to start talking to our children without making them feel bad about anything because at the end of the day, whatever may happen, we are parents, and the goal is always to make sure that our children are safe, loved, and happy. Go and have a talk with your kids; it might just save them.
If the situation cannot be coped, though, it is time to check with a specialist. A mental health therapist or counselor can do so much for an ailing teenager.