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Teenagers Mental Health: Time to deflate some myths

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3 Aug 2021

It is a frequent misunderstanding that mental health concerns just adults. Children and teenagers are typically left out of discussions, and their demands are frequently rejected as moodiness or normal teenage growing pains. However, depression in adolescents and teens goes beyond a melancholy mood and a passing phase. Research reveals that the mental condition can cause tremendous pain for your teen and disrupt their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. But when it comes to discussions concerning psychiatric disorders among teenagers, it is stigmatized through exaggerated, inaccurate, and comical images.

Here are some of the topmost commonly held popular misconceptions floating around out there that just aren't true.


Myth #1: Teenagers do not have mental health issues.

Fact: Mental health problems do not discriminate – they affect people from all walks of life, regardless of age.


Teenage is always an unsettling time. One out of every five teenagers nowadays suffers from a diagnosable mental health problem, such as depression or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Teenage mental health difficulties include trauma, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia, in addition to despair and anxiety. Furthermore, substance abuse and eating disorders that almost always co-exist with another mental health issue are also classified as psychological disorders in teens.


Myth #2: Mental illness is a sign of character flaw and weakness.

Fact: Mental disorder, like any other ailment, is a real, common, and treatable medical condition.


It has nothing to do with being weak or lacking willpower. It's dangerous to presume that individuals with mental illnesses are flawed and incapable of helping themselves. This notion not only delegitimizes the experiences of tens of millions of teenagers but also stigmatizes individuals who may need or seek help.


Myth #3: You can snap out of it if they set your mind to it.

Fact: No one chooses this for their life path.


This myth implies that mental illness is a choice and that a person deliberately chooses to be depressed. This is both incorrect and highly invalidating since it prevents people from getting help and receiving the effective therapy they deserve. Mental illness is a condition, a disease, a syndrome and there would be no need for therapists, medicines, or treatment centers if simply "choosing to be cheerful" was the cure for depression.


Myth #4: Teens afflicted with mental illnesses grow up to be violent and dangerous adults.

Fact: The majority of teenager’s mental illnesses are non-violent individuals.


Mass media not only stigmatize psychiatric disorders but also portrays people suffering from them. Assigning the label “crazy” and “psychoses” does a great disservice to people who live with mental illness every day. This is further worsened by sensationalizing unusual behaviors exhibited by the mentally ill as violent, murderous, unpredictable, and dangerous. These misrepresentations of reality. In actuality, an individual with mental illness is much more likely to be a victim—rather than a perpetrator—of violence.


Myth #5: Teens suffer from mental illness due to bad parenting.

Fact: Mental disorders are caused by a complicated blend of biological and environmental elements.


This myth is baseless and completely untrue. While a secure family environment is vital, mental diseases are thought to be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental variables, such as inherited features, prenatal exposure to the environment, and brain chemistry. To put it another way, while parents should offer a safe and nurturing environment for their children to call home, no single factor—not even bad parenting—can be held solely responsible.


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Eyshana Arya

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