Mental Health Disorders Most Commonly Found in Teenagers


Mental health is an integral component of every persons health in general. However, it is tough to remain mentally stable in the modern world due to numerous external and internal factors. The psyche of children and teenagers is not yet formed. For this reason, it could be easily injured by a poorly chosen word, high academic load, high demands from teachers and parents, and lack of support and trust between the family members. Due to these and other factors, teenagers most commonly suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders. Indeed, teenagers face much more psychiatric illnesses, including eating disorders and schizophrenia. The present essay focuses on anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders because these mental health disorders are the most widely spread among teenagers.

Main body

The scale of mental health disorders spread among teenagers could be illustrated via statistics. According to the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021), more than 6 percent of teenagers have depression, nearly 8 percent experience behavioral disorders, and almost 12 percent suffer from anxiety. What is more, it is necessary to note that statistics include only those adolescents who turned to specialists for help and were diagnosed with one of these disorders. Therefore, the statistics fail to show how many juvenile people are experiencing adverse symptoms of anxiety, depression, and behavior disorders without receiving the necessary treatment. Below, the paper analyzes the essence, causes, and treatments for each of the aforementioned mental health disorders most frequently found in adolescents.

Anxiety disorder is characterized by the feeling and physical signs of fear, including excessive nervousness, increased heart rate, sweating, and trembling. Anxiety could be provoked by phobias that almost every person has and might have virtually no effect on a persons life. For instance, a person with acrophobia could avoid looking from the airplane window to prevent a panic attack. Nonetheless, the particular interest is presented by generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People who suffer from GAD tend to be persistently feared and nervous without a sufficient reason. For example, a person might be afraid of leaving a house or going to school even though there is no danger of being hurt or bullied. In addition to that, it is critical to notice that anxiety not only severely affects the mental health of a teenager but also correlates with low academic achievements (Khesht-Masjedi et al., 2019). For this reason, it is necessary to be sensitive to the psychological state of a teenager to manage to treat this condition as soon as possible.

The most significant cause of anxiety in adolescents is the educational process. According to Khesht-Masjedi et al. (2019), students commonly develop anxiety that decreases their quality of life and physical health while preparing for exams and taking tests. Undoubtedly, anxiety could be treated via psychotherapy and medications. Nevertheless, it is necessary not to underestimate the role of the family in the healing process (Butterfield et al., 2021). Family is the primary source of support for almost every person, regardless of age. Consequently, parents of teenagers suffering from anxiety disorder should explicitly show their attention and care to facilitate healing and alleviate the symptoms.

Depression is another common mental health disorder commonly observed in teenagers. The symptoms of depression include a long-lasting bad mood, a feeling of sadness, and a loss of interest in hobbies, study, and communication with friends and peers. In adverse cases, a depressed person fails to complete the most basic living duties such as eating or washing and might undertake attempts of suicide. Major depressive disorder could be provoked by such factors as bullying, low academic records, excessive body mass index, conflicts with classmates, tense relations with parents, and the absence of friends. Witnessing or being a victim of physical or sexual abuse also leads to depression.

The treatment plan appointed to a patient depends on the level of depression. This way, light depression requires psychotherapy; the treatment of more advanced cases of depression also includes the intake of antidepressants. People with clinical depression are usually hospitalized because their disorder puts their lives in danger. Similar to the previously described case of anxiety disorder, parents play an essential role in healing their depressed children (Zisk et al., 2019). Even though parents and close relatives cannot replace an experienced psychiatrist, they still could make a teenager feel that he is not alone and that there are people who take his problems and worries seriously.

The final group of mental illnesses to be discussed in this essay is behavioral disorders. Adolescents with conduct problems fail to follow the rules, respect the rights and freedom of others, and socialize with their peers and adults in an acceptable way. At this point, it is critical to say that behavioral disorders do not occur because the parents or educators did not teach a child or a teenager to behave correctly. Instead, this issue could stem from an unfavorable school climate and attempts at self-expression (Salle et al., 2018). In some cases, this mental health disorder could be provoked by brain injury, disability, or neurological conditions. The most unpleasant point about behavioral disorders is that they affect not only a teenager per se. In other words, misbehavior interferes with the educational process in general. Moreover, it threatens the mental stability of other students who become victims of a classmate with a behavioral disorder.

Behavioral disorders are curable through cognitive-behavioral therapy, training of social skills, and intake of medications. In addition to that, Mitchell et al. (2019) claim that it will be helpful for schools administration to praise teachers whose classes are attended by students with behavioral disorders. This strategy is expected to support teachers and encourage them to search for a way of dealing with such teenagers. Mitchell et al. (2019) also suggest conducting class-wide peer tutoring. This strategy is needed to teach the rest of the class how to deal with a classmate with a behavioral disorder. Nonetheless, these measures are supplementary and cannot substitute therapy sessions and medical treatment.


To conclude, a considerable percentage of teenagers suffer from mental health disorders. The most widespread ones are anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders. Even though the causes of each of these illnesses vary in every individual case, all of them might lead to severe consequences and poor quality of life. For this reason, parents, relatives, and educators must pay attention to teenagers state of mood. Students who frequently miss classes are not necessarily lazy, foolish, or lair. Instead, they might require the immediate help and support of healthcare professionals and experts. Otherwise, mental health disorders might become advanced and threaten the life of such teenagers and the well-being of their friends and family.


Butterfield, R. D., Silk, J. S., Lee, K. H., Siegle, G. S., Dahl, R. E., Forbes, E. E., & Ladouceur, C. D. (2021). Parents still matter! Parental warmth predicts adolescent brain function and anxiety and depressive symptoms 2 years later. Development and Psychopathology, 33(1), 226-239. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021). Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health. Web.

Khesht-Masjedi, M. F., Shokrgozar, S., Abdollahi, E., Habibi, B., Asghari, T., Ofoghi, R. S., & Pazhooman, S. (2019). The relationship between gender, age, anxiety, depression, and academic achievement among teenagers. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 8(3), 799–804. Web.

Mitchell, B. S., Kern, L., & Conroy, M. A. (2019). Supporting students with emotional or behavioral disorders: State of the field. Behavioral Disorders, 44(2), 70-84. Web.

Salle, T. L., George, H. P., McCoach, D. B., Polk, T., & Evanovich, L. L. (2018). An examination of school climate, victimization, and mental health problems among middle school students self-identifying with emotional and behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 43(3), 383-392. Web.

Zisk, A., Abbott, C. H., Bounoua, N., Diamond, G. S., & Kobak, R. (2019). Parent–teen communication predicts treatment benefit for depressed and suicidal adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(12), 1137-1148. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Mental Health Disorders Most Commonly Found in Teenagers." September 18, 2023.