Understanding the Effects of Adolescence on Mental Health

November 26, 2022

5 min read

Adolescence is a transition period that includes changes to the individual’s body, hormones, and social environment. Hence adolescents are more susceptible to mental health issues, although the majority grow up to be healthy adults. Many mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and psychosis initially manifest before the age of 24 or in the adolescence stage of an individual’s life. This article will study the effects of adolescence on mental health.

What is the adolescence stage?

The interval between adolescence and maturity is a transitional stage. The body and the person’s perspective on the world undergo significant changes during this period of life. Puberty, which today often begins sooner than in the past, marks the beginning of adolescence. There is an influence of the end of youth in social and emotional variables, which is generally unclear.

Adolescents and their families may experience anticipation and worry due to the numerous physical, sexual, cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence. Knowing what to anticipate can help adolescents develop healthily.

Here are the stages of adolescence:

Early adolescence (ages 10 to 13)

  • Children frequently start to develop more swiftly during this time.
  • Some individuals may become curious and anxious about the physical changes of this stage, especially if they don’t know what to anticipate.
  • They often demand privacy.

Middle adolescence (ages 14 to 17)

  • During middle adolescence, the body continues to change as it did during puberty.
  • Many individuals start to show interest in romantic and sexual interactions at this age.
  • Even though the brain is continuously developing and changing in this era, individuals in this stage think very differently from adults.

Late adolescence (above 17 years)

  • Late adolescents have usually reached their maximum body growth potential.
  • By this point, they often have more self-control and may be better equipped to weigh risks and benefits.

Problems faced by parents during their child’s adolescence stage and how to overcome them

Conflicts between parents and their children that lead to uneasy and unstable relationships are linearly related to pubertal maturity. Your child may become more responsible and social if they understand these issues and learn how to resolve them constructively. Let’s look at adolescents’ most typical problems and solutions.

Problems faced by parents during their child's adolescence stage and how to overcome them

Physical changes

  • The changing hormone levels cause physical changes. The start of breast development in girls can be a difficult change to get used to. Girls may begin to worry about their appearance as they develop facial and pubic hair and have to deal with their monthly periods.
  • The most noticeable change in adolescent males is the change in voice and facial and pubic hair development.
  • The individual’s body weight may become excessive as they put on muscle.

Helping your kid become aware of these changes is the best thing you can do to assist them in getting through the adolescence phase. Try to communicate with them as much as you can, and help them adjust to these changes by accepting the changes in them.

 

Emotional changes

  • The fluctuations in hormone levels have both physical and emotional effects. Adolescents frequently experience extreme emotions.
  • Both boys and girls frequently experience mood swings. Early-onset puberty might even make them feel like something is wrong with them. At this point, feelings of superiority or inferiority could appear.
  • Individuals first experience sexual emotions in adolescence. These sexual thoughts and feelings can trigger guilt.

Encourage adolescents to look after themselves. Let them know it’s all right to feel like they do. Please encourage them to work out since doing so can help to maintain healthy serotonin levels. Avoid offering them advice when they are not ready for it, and listen to them without passing judgment.

 

Behavioural changes

  • Impulsive behaviours are typical in adolescents.
  • Individuals become aware of and assert their independence during adolescence, which could lead to them challenging the rules argumentatively and defending what they think is correct.
  • Adolescents are frequently cranky, exhausted, and challenging to deal with due to the effects of the significant brain growth that takes place during this stage. In boys, rising hormone levels may even drive them to engage in violent behaviour.

You must first earn their trust to assist your adolescent with behavioural challenges. Interact with them and pay attention to what they say. Don’t criticise them because doing so can make their conduct worse. Please encourage them to be true to their identity and avoid changing their character to impress others.

 

Psychological changes

  • Adolescents frequently experience mood and anxiety disorders.
  • In this stage, social phobias and panic disorders are prevalent. Girls may be more susceptible to developing depressive illnesses.
  • Adolescents may struggle with confidence or self-esteem issues. Their looks and perspective of their bodies frequently cause them to feel inferior or superior.

It’s essential to step in if your adolescent is becoming extremely grumpy and pessimistic and, if required, seek expert help.

 

Relationship between mental health and the adolescence stage

Several factors are responsible for mental health, and as individual ages, their surroundings and thought processes start to affect their personality. Adolescents with supportive families and loved ones tend to be more confident and get into fewer problems than those with non-supportive families. Moreover, as individual ages, their mental health will start to affect their surroundings, academics, physical fitness, and relationships with family and friends. It is always advised to be firm with adolescents, as controlling or overpowering them will do no good.

 

Conclusion

Today, mental health is no more a taboo. Parents are more involved in the upbringing of their children, ensuring they grow up in a positive and healthy environment. More parents are prioritising their children’s mental health by ensuring they reach out to specialists who can help them understand what their children are going through. If you are looking for a child psychologist or counsellor, reach out to us at United We Care; our team of experienced psychologists and therapists will support you and your child in the journey to mental wellness.

 

Make your child listen to you.

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