Mental Health in Teens: Does Your Teen Fit the Right Parameters?

How We Define Mental Health in Teens May Be Overly Broad

 Mental health in teens is a fundamental and essential component of health, but it is often difficult to define in depth or universally. The general definition of mental health in teens is a state of well-being in which a teen is aware of their own abilities, can handle normal stresses of life, work productively and effectively, and can make valuable contributions to their community. Societies expectation for perfect physical, mental, and social well-being is causing over-diagnosis, overmedication, and overtreatment of mental illnesses. An article by Psychology Today discusses how the general definition of mental health in teens is creating an unrealistic approach at achieving overall well-being.

Increase of Mental Disorders

In the past 26 years, the number of mental disorders officially recognized nationwide has almost doubled. This expansion and pace has existed nowhere else in medical history. Overly broad definitions of mental disorders are considered a part of this problem. Many medications for mental illness are now being prescribed for unrelated conditions. Antidepressants are now widely prescribed for digestive issues or “foggy thinking”. The over-diagnosis and overmedication has led to people being miss diagnosed. Due to this, millions of individuals have become addicts.

The Standard Vs. The Reality

While there are effective and necessary interventions for priority mental disorders, the idea that mental health in teens should be held to a standard of complete physical, mental, and social well-being makes it impossible to avoid overtreatment. People in good mental health are often sad, stressed, angry or unhappy, and this is part of a fully lived life for a human being. Mental health has been often portrayed as a purely positive affect, indicated by feelings of happiness and a sense of mastery over our surroundings. Well-being may even be unhealthy, going through negative components of life is an unavoidable element of being human.

Coping with Life

The portrayal of mental health in teens is what is resulting in confusion and lack of understanding about what mental illnesses truly are. It’s taking away from the importance and emphasis of treatment for those who really need help. Society is hiding behind mental disorders instead of coping with the fact that life isn’t perfect. Sometimes life is hard, unhappy, or infuriating. If we begin to change the definition of mental health, maybe people will start to accept the well-being of mental health in teens for what it is, a balance of different emotions.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today!