Why Mental Illnesses In Teenagers Need To Be Talked About
Mental illness was and has been a taboo in our world. Especially, with the teens. What you may feel are just teenage or adolescent tantrums can actually be the onset of serious mental illness.
Here's why you need to talk about mental illness in your teen kid
- Research shows that 60 million Indians suffer from mental disorders
- Common signs of depression in teens include irritability and anger
- It should be a topic that is brought up and discussed freely in home
Recent research shows that at least 60 million Indians suffer from mental disorders. Mental illness is the one of the common disorders in India, and yet, it remains an untouched and taboo topic for most. For a lot of us, it remains nothing more than a topic in our biology books, never once being discussed or brought up at the dinner table. While this may be true to some extent, because it is considered a "taboo" topic, but is it also because we are so unaware, and hence, oblivious to it?
The last survey from the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health showed that nearly 10-20 million Indians, that is, 1-2 per cent of the population suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and nearly 50 million, that is, 5 per cent of population suffered from mental disorders, the most common ones being depression and anxiety.
The fact that illnesses like depression and anxiety are so common, and are increasing at an alarmingly high rate, is cause for concern. And since the signs are not so obvious, they usually go unnoticed, especially when it comes to teens and young adults. Common signs of depression in teens include irritability, anger, and irritation. Unfortunately, most parents link it with a natural part of growing up and adolescence and don't even think about it twice. This leads to their condition worsening, and it may eventually lead to a serious disorder.
So, as a parent, what can you do about it?
It should be a topic that is brought up and discussed freely in homes, and no stigma should be attached to it. Moreover, it is extremely important to not look down on and berate your teenager, who is reaching out for help and attempting to get better. More often than not, a person suffering from this just needs a helping hand to know that they could get better and in fact, a great support system pushes the recovery forward both in terms of mental and emotional health. And lastly, don't just think that your child is holed up in their room and keeping to themselves because it is a "phase"- keep your eyes open, and speak up if need be.