Teen years are often remembered as the best years of one’s life as it marks new found awareness of one’s self and independence in the form of taking own decisions. While teenage years are believed to be the time in which he/she can explore oneself, it is important to remember that these years also demand that the teen take responsibility for his/her actions and decisions.
As teens are still growing up, they lack the experience to differentiate right from wrong. Still in the phase of discovering themselves and getting to understand those around them, teens tend to develop new habits, some of which may be detrimental to their health. Due to a lack of maturity and awareness about the ways in which such habits can harm their health in the long-run, they tend to indulge in these activities easily and quickly. This, in turn, leads to a number of major teen issues, which if felt unresolved can lead to further complications.
Though teens openly discuss certain health problems faced by them, there some issues, which they are not comfortable talking about. They feel embarrassed and avoid discussing them with their friends, siblings or parents. Some such issues include:
- Violence and illicit activities: Since adolescents and teenagers are vulnerable they can be abused easily either physically or mentally. When faced with such problems, teenagers often begin to indulge in violent behavior. According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 7.8 percent youth, in grades 9 to 12, reported being involved in a physical fight at school in 2014.
Teenagers generally avoid discussing such problems with their families as they consider them as their personal issues which they feel should be handled on their own.
- Substance abuse: At times, teenagers feel stressed out both at home and their school or college. They could also feel anxious about the future or changes occurring in their bodies. In order to ease out this stress, they start indulging in harmful habits, such as substance abuse.
According to the CDC, in 2015, the total number of overdose deaths, in people aged between 15 and 24 years was 4,235. These included deaths from overdose of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, synthetic cannabinoids and other illegal opioids.
Even while 1.2 million adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years have a substance use disorder (SUD), they are not willing to come forward and talk about the same. The reasons range from feeling that it is their life and hence their decision as to what they want to do with it to embarrassment about their addiction and feelings of guilt.
- Sexual health issues: Being sexually active before attaining the legal age and indulging in risky sexual behavior is quite common among adolescents. This leads to the development of multiple health issues, like teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Another thing that teens are not at ease discussing is their sexual orientation.
Teenagers are not open and comfortable discussing about such issues with their family, friends or loved ones.
- Mental health: Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mood disorders are more prevalent among teenage boys. These lead to a decreased school performance, increased conflicts with parents, loss of interest in activities, etc. Mental health disorders also increase the risk of accidents, substance use and suicidal tendencies.
Teen boys are generally reluctant to seek help for their mental health issues because of the stigma and shame that surrounds it. It is generally felt that people who suffer from mental health disorders are weak.
- Body image issues: In teenage years a person becomes aware of his or her sexuality, is under tremendous pressure to look good, which dominates everything else. Teenage boys with body image issues also indulge in intense bodybuilding exercises, which often go unnoticed as people consider it as their way to stay fit and healthy. Such issues about body image lead to mental health illnesses like depression, anxiety, low confidence levels and substance abuse.
Teens usually do not discuss body image issues with their peers as they feel that they would be laughed at. Increasingly sedentary lifestyles are making teen boys obese and therefore more conscious about their looks.
Discussion is the key
It is important for teenagers to understand that discussing their problems, be it related to college, friends, personal life, mental or physical health disorders can help them find the best solution. Keeping their problems to themselves might exacerbate them leading to the development of a number of other physical and mental health issues.
White River Academy, one of the leading therapeutic boarding schools for ADHD, helps teenage boys aged between 12 and 17 overcome their mental health issues and begin leading a healthy life. The ADHD boarding school has state-of-the-art infrastructure and experienced therapists who follow an all-inclusive approach to help teens recover from their condition.
If you are aware of any teenage boy who is exhibiting symptoms of mental health problems and is looking for treatment for ADHD, White River Academy can help. Call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with one of our experts to know about boarding schools for children with ADHD to connect with some of the best in the U.S.