The Importance of Mental Health in Teenagers
By Tanaya Mehta
“Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we,’ Illness becomes Wellness.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Mental health is an extremely important part of a person’s wellbeing. It is as important as physical health and needs to be accounted for in several circumstances. I believe teenagers are not completely taught how to handle pressure from their school and personal life. This stress is forcing them to push their mental well-being away from focus.
Teenagers often face several obstacles in their lives. People are more self-conscious about their feelings at this age and don’t explicitly share them with others. A teenager may say that they are “fine” but on the inside, they may be bottling up emotions they are afraid to share. A lot of teenagers tend to withdraw the need to share their feelings. A reason for this could be to avoid adding on or spilling over their so-called “unnecessary” stress onto someone else. If not quickly adhered to, hopelessness, loss of interest, sadness, change in behaviour like excessive crying, and empty feelings can become symptoms of depression. Depression can be very dangerous and difficult for teens to manage.
Being a teenager myself, I have struggled with my fair share of anxiety and depression. It made me feel completely demotivated, dispirited, and made me lower the expectations I had for myself. I had initially tried to hide my feelings but later learnt how important it was to open up to people that I trusted. My family was supportive and helped me get out of that unsettling state. I introduced positive affirmations into my daily routine and allowed positivity into my life. With the support and the careful steps I took, I was slowly able to heal and care for myself again.
You can start with small steps like keeping yourself active, making healthy food choices, and talking about your feelings with someone you trust.*
Improving and focusing on your mental health can make you a better person and can allow you to be more trusting and grateful for the good things in life. Anxiety and depression are only temporary stages of your life that can be overcome and controlled. It’s important to remember that when working on your mental health, you are never alone. “Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.”
*Disclaimer: I am not by any means a professional doctor. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding your condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call the emergency services immediately.
“Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we,’ Illness becomes Wellness.” by Shannon L. Alder
“Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.” by Mariska Hargitay