The teen years are difficult for your child and you as a parent. If your teen is struggling with a mental illness, it can magnify the already tumultuous experiences teenagers experience. Recent statistics suggest that 1 in 5 young adults are dealing with a mental illness, yet few get treatment and help.

Causes of Mental Illnesses

The exact cause of mental illnesses in children and teens is not known, but it is believed to be the result of the combination of heredity, biology, psychological trauma and environmental stress. Mental illnesses are disorders of the brain and are not something made up. Getting professional help through counseling and sometimes medications can help the teen lead a productive and positive life. For symptoms of various mental illnesses, please see our blog 11 Warning Signs Your Teen is in Crisis

Types of Mental Illnesses

Anxiety Disorders are disturbances in brain mechanisms designed by the brain to try and protect your teen from harm. They include:

  • Specific Phobias
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia

Mood Disorders are characterized by the brain elevating or lowering your teen’s mood, and they can include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (Clinical Depression)
  • Bipolar Disorder

Psychotic Disorders are when the brain disturbed perception and behavior and they include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Delusional Disorder

Personality Disorder is a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern, usually specific to the individual that causes long-term difficulties functioning in society and with relationships. These can include:

  • Eccentric: Paranoid, Schizotypal, Schizoid
  • Dramatic/Emotional: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic
  • Fear-Related: Avoidant, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, Dependent

Eating Disorders are abnormal or disturbed eating habits or weight behavior and include:

Developmental Disorders are early disturbances in brain function and development that involve serious impairment is different areas of the brain. They include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Learning Disorder

Behavioral Disorders are persistent disruptions in expected behaviors in teens and young adults. They include:

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder

Addictions are disorders of extreme cravings and include:

  • Substance Abuse Disorders

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a chronic, long-lasting state where the person is driven by uncontrollable and reoccurring thoughts and repeated behaviors. These includes:

Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders occur following exposure to stressful or traumatic events.

If you are concerned your child or teen may be suffering from a mental illness and would like to know more about your options, we are here for you. You are not alone. You can reach us at our Intake Center at 907-789-4733, or if you need more immediate help, our Cornerstone Residential Facility is open 24 hours, and we can be reached there at 907-789-7654.