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10 signs that indicate that a teenager has a mental disorder

10 signs that indicate that a teenager has a mental disorder

June 24, 2021

We all know that adolescence is a stage of life full of changes and that, in many cases, problems and difficulties may arise.

Many teenagers they show changes and alterations in their mood , in your body and in your daily behaviors and habits, but these are not the only factors that can explain the appearance of certain mental health problems.

Adolescence and mental disorders

You have to bear in mind that adolescents who have some kind of mental health problem do not usually express their concern about it directly , which can be complex to get to notice that something bad is happening to them.


As part of the inseparable biochemical alterations of this life stage, adolescents usually suffer severe changes in their mood, as well as the effects of volatile social relationships. It is at this time when we began to disassociate from the protection of parents to start looking for links with friends of our own age, and welcoming references in other areas of life: teachers, television idols, musicians ...

A convulsive life stage

Although abrupt mood swings are quite frequent during adolescence, we must be vigilant, since can warn us of a mental health problem in the background . If these mood swings are extreme, with violent behavior or frequent crying, we could be facing a case that requires professional intervention.


20% of adolescents, according to official figures, develop a psychopathology. Most of them, also, debut before the age of fifteen, but they are not referred to a mental health professional until years later, when the problem may have become entrenched and is more difficult to treat.

The 10 signs that indicate that a teenager has a mental health problem

In the words of Dr. Aaron Krasner, a psychiatrist specializing in adolescent behavior and director of Life Service from Silver Hill Hospital in New Cannan, in the state of Connecticut, explains:

"Only one in five adolescents with mental health problems is detected and referred to the appropriate professional (psychiatrist or psychologist) to treat their need. There are cultural elements that hinder us from providing the necessary help to adolescents, and we must improve this. "


One of the ways to improve the detection of behaviors, habits and specificities of young people who can warn us that they have a psychological condition is to describe the 10 signs that can indicate that something is wrong .

1. Self-harm, suicide attempts or self-destructive behavior.

2. Frequent changes in your physical health, or in appearance.

3. Aggressiveness, frequent anger and little control of impulses.

4. New groups of friends not recommended.

5. Changes in your body weight.

6. Neglect of your personal hygiene.

7. Inability to face problems or daily activities.

8. Flirting with alcohol or other drugs.

9. Episodes of threats and problematic relationships.

10. Frequent nightmares.

Other signs and observations to take into account

There are also other signs that, although they are not conclusive, can make us see that the adolescent may be suffering from some complicated situation. For example, if your school performance or behavior at home or in the institute has undergone a major change .

Another obvious sign is depressive symptoms, especially when the mood and grief extend for more than three weeks. This can also go hand in hand with lack of appetite, sleep disorders or problems and recurrent thoughts about death, according to Krasner.

The importance of the family context

You have to always keep in mind that Mental health problems during adolescence often have a negative impact on family dynamics , being able to cause tensions between several of its members. It is vitally important that the family stays together and do everything possible to improve the mood of the adolescent, both by promoting a good harmony in the home and seeking professional help if the circumstances require it.

If you know some teenager who is having a bad time and has some of the symptoms and signs described above, keep your communication open with him and consult a mental health professional.


Mayo Clinic Minute: 5 signs your teenager is battling depression (June 2021).


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