The Influences of Teen Mental Health

COVID-19 has impacted a lot of people, including an increase in mental health conditions in teens. There have been several different factors that have been affecting these things, and hopefully, with more awareness, we can help people with these conditions.

Approximately 50% of all teens have had any sort of mental condition in their life, and approximately 22% have had a severe mental impairment. It has also been shown that women and girls have been more affected by mental illness than men. Some of these conditions are depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar, PTSD, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and many more. As I’ve mentioned before in some of my other articles, mental illnesses are nothing to joke about. It’s a serious illness that people don’t choose to have, and it is really hard to deal with. The people who ‘think’ that they have a mental illness need to get clinically assessed. When people assume mental problems when they don’t truly know if they have one, it is making fun of the people who do have these problems. The right knowledge and awareness can be extremely helpful, as well. 

Several different factors influence teen mental health, such as social, political, economical, and familial factors. First, let’s take a look at some of the social factors. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably have social media, whether it is Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, etc, social media is one of the biggest influences on teen mental health. COVID-19 has no doubt had a huge effect on teen mental health, especially when missing out on the social aspect of school and hanging out with friends. All that time alone gets you in your head. It seems like everybody else’s life is perfect based on what you see on social media, but it’s the opposite. The teenage years are also the time when people develop who they are and what group they belong to. Whether it is any high school stereotype or group there is out there, it’s hard to want to be different. Even if you are different, there will always be that social expectation to follow, shaping people’s beliefs about themselves. Especially around this time is when people start to figure out sexuality and dating. 

Relationships, whether it’s with friends, family, or romantically, will shape mental health factors as well. Taking some time to have a break and think about what you need for yourself can be the most beneficial to help with everything, especially the social drama.

With the inauguration that happened this past month, politics has been on everybody’s mind. It’s been a rough past year, especially with the election and the inauguration of Joe Biden. Politics is one of those topics that can make or break a relationship, and it’s an influence that can cause people to get upset. Stress is on people’s minds about who is leading our nation, but simply taking a break from politics can help relieve people.

People’s moods often reflect the things that happen to them or the things taking place in society. For adults, the stock market and financial positions have been a high-stress situation – especially with COVID-19. It’s hard to have to manage all of it. Teens have to go through this stress, a lot of teens picking up jobs and left starving at night. Poverty and thinking about how some people have it better than you can cause mental health problems. Feeling like a burden, economically and emotionally, can influence teens as well. It’s important to remember, however, that the greatest gift isn’t the money that comes in, but rather having you around.

Relationships are extremely messy. Family is often something that causes a lot of stress for teens. School is that escape for people to not be around their family. Spending time with friends is a way for teens to have fun, but also to stay away from the things that may be hurting at home. Dysfunctional families are evident everywhere, but being able to connect with the people you love may be able to help prevent the influences of mental health. Family therapists are helpful for this type of thing, but sometimes it isn’t that easy. 

Mental health is something that is found everywhere. Just when you think that you have struggles, look around you. Everybody has some problem that they are dealing with, even if they don’t show it. It’s extremely important to spread awareness about these mental health issues, especially with COVID-19 going on. Remember to reach out if you need help. Send an email if you ever need to talk to somebody. You will get through this.