Adolescence is the phase in a human being’s life which marks their transition from childhood to adulthood. This phase includes significant physical and psychological changes which start showing at an age as early as 10 and usually lasts till the age of 19, but may even persist through the early twenties in some rare cases. Adolescents are usually categorized as “teenagers”.
It is during this phase, teengers face issues like sexuality, interpersonal relationships and experimentation with alcohol and drugs. If not cared for and guided properly through this period, they may develop mental health problems (such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, etc.) and end up having a difficult adulthood. According to the WHO, half of all mental health disorders in adulthood start by the age of 14. Many alcohol and substance abuse problems also start during adolescence. Through a study, it was found that over 1.5 million adolescents and young adults died in 2019.
Major Adolescent Issues
During adolescence, the well-being and mental health of young people can be affected by various factors such as violence, a dysfunctional family, inadequate education, living in poverty. Feelings of stress and confusion caused by academic and social life can overwhelm adolescents and increase the risk of developing mental health problems. The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.
Depression is a major issue among adolescents and suicide is the third leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 19.
Alcohol or Substance Abuse:
Young people tend to experiment with alcohol and various drugs during adolescence. It happens for different reasons such as peer pressure, societal influences or just sheer curiosity. This can lead to a lot of problems. It can reduce self-control and increase risky behaviours, such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. It is a major cause of injuries, violence and death. Some adolescents end up with alcohol and substance abuse problems like addiction and dependency when they grow up into adults.
Use of tobacco products is very common among young people. It has been found that The vast majority of people using tobacco today began doing so when they were adolescents. Continued use of tobacco products can lead to serious health problems.
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among adolescents. Injuries can be caused by violence and accidents among other factors.
=Interpersonal violence is the fourth leading cause of death among adolescents. Bullying is a form of violence that has been a problem in schools around the globe. According to the global school-based student health survey 42% of adolescent boys and 37% of adolescent girls were exposed to bullying.
Accidents are very common in countries without proper road safety regulations. Every year, many adolescents die in road accidents caused by reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Parenting can be difficult, especially when parents themselves are busy with their own lives. But protecting your child’s adolescence is of utmost importance as it will decide what they will grow into and how they will fit in society.
Our young ones don’t know any better, they lack the knowledge and experience to tell if their adolescence is heading in the wrong direction. As a parent, it should be your duty to spot any signs of adolescent issues. If you suspect your adolescent is in need of an evaluation as a result of a concerning mental health or substance abuse issue, we encourage you to talk to us. We can help you guide your loved one in the right direction and towards an ideal adulthood.