Mental Health and Teenagers

By: Carla López, 9th Grade

Adolescent mental health is most of the time ignored by grown-ups. Most of them think school is our only obligation and the only thing we stress about. I think teenagers can all agree that that’s not true. Adolescence is a part of our lives in which we start to discover who we are but it can also be a dark place for a lot of people. Social pressure and body and personality changes can make teens develop mental health issues. In fact, globally, suicide is the third cause of death in teens from 15 to 19 years old. 

When talking about mental health people don’t pay the same attention as they do with physical health. Teens develop different problems in different ways, but there’s always something that can warn us about that person being in a bad mental state- we just have to pay really close attention to it. The most common mental issues in teens are depression with symptoms that tend to have a big impact on their lives, anxiety which usually affects their social life, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) which most of the time affects academic life, and eating disorders which basically affect the whole life of the person suffering through it. 

There are multiple reasons for these disorders to develop. Living conditions, social life, self-esteem, and social pressures are all causes of mental issues. As a teenager, one of my biggest problems is social pressure. Thinking everyone needs to like me or I have to do certain things for them to like me is an everyday concern. Not only that but also many teens’, including mine, self-esteem depends on our school grades. We´ve grown up around people who make us think a number defines us as a person and if we don’t pass an exam, no matter how much we know about the topic or how much we have studied, that insignificant number makes us feel like the worst person on the planet. 

In my opinion, teens’ mental health is overlooked and it was demonstrated when we were in lockdown. Many of us developed anxiety or depression because we felt we were doing nothing with our lives; we felt that we didn’t learn anything with online classes and that we were losing all of our friends for not being able to interact with them. It was a hard year for all of us but sometimes adults think they´re the only ones going through a rough time and tend to ignore others’ mental health. If you ever felt like this, I´m sorry, I´ve been there too.

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