Mental Health Problems

Dr. Purushothaman
November 28, 2013

Mental health problems can strike anyone at anytime.

The onset of a range of mental disorders and mental health related
problems will often occur during adolescence.

Troubled teenagers can be affected by a number of mental disorders. Adolescence is a time of change and these changes can bring about issues that may lead to full-blown mental disorders if not given proper attention. Teens are at a time when they may be seeking
validation and if they do not find it, they can very easily fall victim to Eating Disorders, Depression, and ultimately even thoughts of suicide. Troubled teens with problems with hostility or aggression may fall victims to Conduct Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Adjustment Disorder may also be a common disorder that afflicts teens
going through a number of changes as they step into adolescence.

The following are mental disorders that can affect the troubled teenager:

Eating Disorders

There are several types of eating disorders, but there are 3 major
kinds: Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, and Binge-eating disorder.

Anorexia nervosa - Those afflicted with anorexia may appear
quite strange with their food. They may cut and chew their food in tiny amounts or chronically pass up entire meals. Generally, obsessive
calorie-counting and excessive exercise may be distinct characteristics of the disorder.

Bulimia nervosa - Those afflicted with bulimia typically binge a
large amount of food at a single time and then purge by self-induced
vomiting or laxative/diuretic abuse in order to make up for the amount
of calories consumed. This disorder is often called the binge-purge
cycle. An irrational fear of gaining weight accompanies both disorders.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The disorder may be generally described by impulsive acts, difficulties with one's attention span, and hyperactivity. It must be known that at present ADHD can be treated, yet a cure does not exist. There are several issues your teenager may suffer from that are related with ADHD such as social problems with family or other peers, school troubles, and academic struggles. He or she may have behavioral issues as well.

Conduct Disorder

A teen struggling with the disorder may experience difficulties
managing their anger, adhering to guidelines, and generally keeping
one's behavior under control. But this may sound like quite a number of teens during the rocky stage of adolescence. Conduct Disorder (CD) may be recognized by a constant outline of behavior wherein another's basic rights and social norms and guidelines are dishonored.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Troubled teenagers who experience an intense emotionally disturbing
incident which may or may not involve physical abuse, can develop a
condition afterwards known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
wherein painful flashbacks of the incidents cause apparent stress. The
stress which becomes present after the incident can be sourced to the
intense fear which develops within the teen after going through such a
threatening experience. A common cause of Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder is sexual abuse.

Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment Disorder may manifest in troubled teenagers who react to a
number of stressful occurrences or a particular stressful encounter.
Anxiety and depression often accompany Adjustment Disorder.
Difficulties in coping as well as problems with social skills may
occur. Usually the disorder manifests within 3 months of the particular traumatic incident. The disorder should normally last up to six months, yet if the issues behind the Adjustment disorder are not addressed the disorder may last longer.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder may be described by obsessive thoughts
and in turn the compulsive actions which go with them. These obsessive
thoughts and compulsive actions significantly affects how one functions in society. It may put a considerable amount of stress on the manner in which one interacts with others in his or her normal environment (may it be the workplace or at school).

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders may be classified as either Depression or Bi-polar
(Manic-depression) syndromes. Bi-polar or Manic-depression may be
described by abrupt changes in temperament ranging from euphoria or
mania to depression and sadness. Depression on the other hand is
characterized by despair and prevailing sadness. One suffering from
this disorder can very easily become enveloped in one's feelings. The sufferer having problems functioning in society is characteristic of mood disorder. If experiencing depression, he or she may lose interest in what once gave him or her joy or entertainment. Bi-polar disorder's swings of mania can significantly affect how those around him or her perceive the afflicted.

Reactive Attachment Disorder

A troubled teenage suffering from Reactive Attachment Disorder may be
characterized by a lack of affection for one's family. This lack of affection could be traced to a number of reasons. When the basic needs of a child are ignored or not met during the formative stages, the probability of Reactive Attachment Disorder developing is higher.
Stress hormones are actually higher in those children that do not get
the attention they need during their infancy and first years. This
causes a reaction from the nervous system.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Behavior patterns distinguished by anger, aggression, violence, and
rebelliousness may be signs that Oppositional Defiant Disorder has
developed in your teenager. Teenagers struggling with this disorder may frequently believe that they have all the right to feel such anger. They may turn to their parents or school authorities and accuse them of being unfair or harsh. This is particularly the way they justify their violent behavior. Set guidelines at home may be ignored as the teenager challenges authority.

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