How to Identify Mental Illness in Your Teen

Oct 4th, 2018

As children become teenagers and undergo physical, emotional and hormonal transitions, you may notice accompanying behavior changes. How can you differentiate normal, healthy changes and warning signs of mental illness?

One in five adolescents ages 13–18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point in life. Recognize the red flags by familiarizing yourself with these common signs:

  • Excessive sleeping or, adversely, difficulty sleeping and insomnia, which could indicate depression or substance​ abuse
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Difficulties with memory, attention or concentration
  • Physical pain unrelated to current conditions, such as stomach aches, headaches and backaches
  • Feelings of hopelessness, sadness and anxiety
  • Uncharacteristic and frequent aggression (physical or verbal) and disobedience
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite, which could indicate an eating disorder
  • Destructive behavior, including self-harm or harm to others

After identifying concerning symptoms, it is important to meet with a health care professional and identify appropriate treatment options.

Oceans can help. Our inpatient program supports teens in a structured environment with continual use of positive reinforcement, constructive relationships and skill building. Our individualized treatment plans include individual, group and family therapy, as well as therapeutic recreational activities. To learn more about treatment options at Oceans, call us today.


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Bldg. 2, Suite 101
Plano, TX 75024

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