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Mental Illnesses to Watch Out for in Your Teenager

Teenagers go through a lot of change during puberty – not just physically, but mentally. They're discovering who they are and their place in the world, but sometimes external factors, such as social media and the school environment, can sow the seeds of a negative image of themselves. 
Such issues can plague the mind and cause issues in self-confidence and a person’s well-being. Mental illnesses, especially stemmed from the way we perceive our looks, can be problematic.
But how does this impact us?
This can result in what’s known as a body image disorder
Here, we’ll examine what mental illnesses can arise from this condition so you can spot the signs in your teenager early on.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders describe a group of mental illnesses that manifest themselves in many ways. The overriding feeling from any anxiety disorder is one of extreme fear about a current event (shopping, driving), or extreme anxiety concerning a future event (a wedding, a test). There is a range of symptoms associated with anxiety, and these include:

• Loss of appetite
• Shaking or tremors
• An elevated heart rate
• Rapid breathing


Depression is all too common among the teenage demographic, with roughly 20 percent of this age group known to experience depression at some point. While colloquially this word is often used in to express sadness, depression is a recognised disorder. It can last for long periods or come and go, resulting in:

• Loss of sleep
• A poor self-image
• A lack of energy
• Feeling hopeless

Eating disorders

An eating disorder is a well-documented illness in teenagers - and one that is commonly at the heart of debates on the harmful effects of over-exposure to social media platforms. The likes of Instagram, twitter and Facebook have all become a big part of our everyday lives, but especially for teenagers. Once a condition like bulimia or anorexia takes hold, it can result in an attitude to food that is unhealthy and even life-threatening. The symptoms to look out for to nip this disorder in the bud early on are:

• A low enthusiasm for food
• Binge eating
• Hiding food

Drug addiction

If one is feeling low, how do they fill the void? For some teenagers, drugs offer a short-lived high and an escape from the pressures of modern life. But not knowing the dangers can lead to drug addiction, which is characterised by a dependency on one or more drugs to the point of not being able to function without them. 
At such a young age, teenagers are still developing mentally and physically, so drugs could interrupt this growth in a detrimental way. They can, for instance, go on to have behavioural problems in adulthood, so it's important to look out for the following signs of drug addiction:

• Mood changes beyond the norm for teenagers
• Bloodshot eyes
• Shaking and sweating
• A lack of sleep

Proactively Dealing with Body Image Problems in Teenagers

As we have read, a poor body image in teenagers can trigger a range of worrying mental illnesses that need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. This is especially important considering our teenage years go a long way to shaping who we become as adults.