What Mental Health Issues Do Teenagers Typically Experience?
MoodRx Clinical Staff - Mar 27, 2024

What Mental Health Issues Do Teenagers Typically Experience?

What Mental Health Issues Do Teenagers Typically Experience?

Teenagers navigate a complex landscape of developmental changes, social pressures, and increasing responsibilities, which can significantly impact their mental health. The following are common mental health issues among teenagers:

  1. Depression: This includes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, significantly impacting daily functioning.
  2. Anxiety Disorders: Teenagers may experience generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and phobias, often related to school pressures, social relationships, and future uncertainties.
  3. Eating Disorders: Conditions such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder can emerge, influenced by body image issues, societal expectations, and psychological stress.
  4. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): ADHD can affect teenagers' ability to focus, control impulses, and maintain organization, leading to challenges in academic and social settings.
  5. Substance Use Disorders: Experimentation with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco can lead to misuse and addiction, often as a coping mechanism for stress or peer pressure.
  6. Self-Harm: Behaviors such as cutting or burning are ways some teenagers attempt to cope with emotional pain, stress, or feelings of numbness.
  7. Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors: Teenagers may experience thoughts of suicide or engage in suicidal behaviors, often as a result of feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, or trapped by their circumstances.
  8. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): Preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance, which are not observable or appear slight to others, can lead to significant distress.
  9. Social Media and Internet Addiction: Excessive use of social media and the internet can impact teenagers' mental health, contributing to anxiety, depression, and feelings of inadequacy.
  10. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Teenagers who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events may develop PTSD, characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
  11. Conduct Disorders: Behavioral issues, including aggression towards people or animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness, or theft, and serious violations of rules.
  12. Gender Dysphoria: Teenagers questioning their gender identity may experience significant distress associated with a discrepancy between their experienced gender and the gender they were assigned at birth.


Addressing these mental health challenges often requires a multi-faceted approach that may include therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy), medication, peer support, and educational accommodations. It's crucial to provide a supportive and understanding environment that encourages open communication, fosters healthy coping mechanisms, and promotes resilience. Early intervention and tailored support can significantly impact the well-being and development of teenagers facing mental health issues.