Warning Signs of Teen Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues are a very broad category of illnesses and disorders, and while warning signs are a helpful way to tell when you should pay more attention to your teen’s behavior, it’s important to note that a warning sign should never be considered a clear indication of a mental health disorder. If your teen is exhibiting any of the symptoms below, get them a referral with a mental health specialist and speak to your family doctor/psychiatrist/pediatrician.

  • Extreme risk-taking behavior
  • Self-harm, talking about self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation and attempts
  • Sudden and excessive weight loss, not eating at all, use of laxatives
  • Sudden weight gain, constant snacking, overeating
  • Severe mood swings, uncontrolled irritability
  • Acting out violently
  • Sudden moments of hyperventilation, discomfort, and panic
  • Constant vocal worries about the same irrational fears
  • Patterns of avoiding others or avoiding specific situations
  • Socially withdrawing, no contact with others
  • Prolonged sadness (for more than 2 weeks)
  • Always feeling tired
  • Severe insomnia
  • Constant procrastination
  • Unable to finish conversations, losing track of thoughts, stopping midway through sentences
  • Drug and/or alcohol use, especially as a means to “self medicate” mental issues

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