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Teenage Mental Illness in America

The Prevalence of Teenage Mental Illness

Mental illness is perhaps the most overlooked epidemic that has ever swept through the U.S. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that approximately 1 in 4 adults in the U.S suffers from at least one type of the various psychological disorders known to modern medicine. In other words, America currently has a population of 43.8 million – nearly 20% of all adults – who struggle to live with a mental illness, annually. According to the same report, approximately 9.8 million U.S. adults – or 4% of all adults – suffer from “a mental illness that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”

While mental illness can indeed be considered an epidemic among adults, it’s even worse for the children of the United States. NAMI concluded that as many as 21.4% of youth (aged 13-18) suffer from a severe mental disorder at some point during their time of adolescence. Sadly enough, they also reported that 13% of children as young as ages 8-15 suffer from a severe mental disorder.

Parents: Look for the Warning Signs of Mental Illness

As a parent of a mentally ill teenage boy or girl, knowledge and quick action are the key to saving the quality and potential of your child’s life. If left untreated, a child’s mental illness can negatively impact every facet of their life including their performance in school, social life, future opportunities and their overall quality of living.

Fortunately, mental illness can be treated efficiently, especially if their condition is treated during their young years of adolescence. In fact, decades of mental health research has shown that the earlier the intervention, the more likely a mental illness is to be treated adequately.

Normal Teenage Behavior Vs. Teenage Mental Illness

Teens are more susceptible to rash decision making, mood-swings, and other anti-social behaviors. That being said, there will be times that every parent questions their child’s state of mental health, but rest assured, this is normal.  Unfortunately, most parents still have a difficulty with differentiating the difference between regular, teenage behavior and symptoms of actual mental illness, by merely observing their child’s behaviors.

To complicate things even further, perfectly healthy teens have more of a proclivity to exhibit anti-social behaviors than that of fully grown adults. These so-called “anti-social behaviors” can easily be mistaken for warning signs of a potential mental disorder, but ultimately, should not cause too much concern for even the most vigilant of parents.

As teens distance themselves from their families, it’s not difficult to see why many hyper-vigilant parents mistake their chid’s natural, adolescent development for something more severe, even sinister. With that in mind, it almost goes without saying that it is highly crucial for parents not to overact when their child starts to exhibit these normal, teenage behaviors – such as paying more attention to their friends than their own family, or wanting to have a private life, somewhat independent of their moms and dads.

However, if a child’s behavior goes beyond what is reasonable, such as sneaking out at night, exhibiting rageful or violent episodes, or showing the tell-tale signs of drug use, then it is appropriate (if not necessary)  for parents to become concerned by their child’s behavior.


What Are The Consequences of Mental Illnesses Going Untreated?

The consequences of mental illnesses going untreated can (and all too often does) result in the deaths of Americans – currently, the 10th leading cause of death – and teenagers are no exception. Tragically, when it comes to untreated, mentally ill adolescents, extreme consequences are perhaps best represented by the alarmingly fatal statistics conducted by National Alliance on Mental Illness.

According to the NIMA, suicide is the third leading cause of death among children between the ages of 10 and 14. Even worse, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults between the ages of 15-24. Of these teen suicides, 90% of the teens suffered from either an undiagnosed, untreated, misdiagnosed, or mistreated mental illness.

These outrageously grievous statistics undoubtedly prove that America has a mental illness epidemic on its hands. But most importantly, the NAMI’s findings prove that more must be done by both the parents of mentally ill children and the government in charge of their safety to combat this ever-evolving, increasingly devastating trend.

Adult-observation is the Key to Detecting Mental Illness in Teens

Adults can make all the difference when it comes to catching a mental illness in your teen early on in its development – namely, adults who are close to your child or at least observe them on a continual basis such as, teachers, friends’ parents, coaches and school counselors.

In other words, any adult who is involved in your child’s day-to-day life should be cognitively able and well-versed in recognizing mental disturbances and other warning signs of a mental illness.

The impact of early detection of teenage mental illness via adult recognition can easily be observed through the multitude of studies that show a direct correlation between early intervention of adolescent mental illness and therapeutically treated, mentally ill teens achieving high test scores. These studies also concluded that mentally ill teens who receive early interventive treatment boasted much higher attendance records than untreated, mentally ill adolescents.

Additionally, these same studies also showed that effective mental health interventions and a positive school climate contribute to improved student achievement and their overall state of well-being. Contrariwise, however, the study also showed that mentally ill students who did receive the same environmental benefits and adult support were at a critical disadvantage and less likely to overcome their mental health disorder.

Here at Elevations RTC, our family advocates are ready to help you find the perfect fit for your teen so that both he/she and your entire family can once again be the happy, peaceful family that you long for. Please know that we have been here before and are eager to help. Call us at  to talk to us today.


Mental Illness Often Gets Overlooked, Hidden, and Ignored

While the conversation and cultural awareness of mental illness have exponentially improved in the last few decades, sadly enough, psychological health disorders remain heavily stigmatized in today’s America. This grossly negligent and unfair treatment of those who have a mental illness leave millions of sufferers isolated from a society they feel doesn’t understand or empathize with their psychological disease.

Even worse, countless mentally ill people choose to keep their devastating condition hidden from the world, living in fear that they might also suffer stigmatization for even talking about their mental illness, let alone admitting to suffering from it to anyone.

Consequently, many sufferers of mental illness become an expert in hiding their psychological disorder – so well, in fact, most of those who choose to disguise their psychological illness can even fool their closest family members and friends into believing that nothing is amiss or out of the ordinary, whatsoever.

In reality, however, these suffering people continue to fight an uphill battle that they tirelessly work to keep buried just beneath the surface of their superficially content exterior. Battling their secret demons, many of those who privately struggle with an undiagnosed mental health disorder turn to drugs, alcohol, self-harm, and other self-destructive, even potentially life-threatening behaviors as to “self-medicate” their overwhelming internal pain.

Keeping a Mental Health Disorder Hidden is Typically Learned During Adolescence

Unfortunately, there is perhaps no demographic that is more expert in hiding their mental health disorder than teenage teens of all genders. Mentally ill teen’s self-destructive, albeit masterful, expertise of disguising their inner turmoil is grossly problematic for several reasons.

Firstly, mental illness is best treated in it’s earliest stages – ideally, during the suffering person’s time of adolescence. However, if teens hide their undiagnosed condition from the rest of the world, they risk missing out on developing the critical coping mechanisms that are pertinant for learning to live with and overcome their psychological disease – coping skills that can only be learned with the help of a licensed therapist or any other psychiatric professionals. If a mentally ill teen fails to build these crucial skills, they may never learn how to overcome their illness.

Elevations is more than just a boarding school. We are a transitional living program that administers mental health treatment and academic support to all teens who may be struggling. Parents will often look into military schools and boot camps for struggling teens as a solution for their child, but we have found this to be a temporary solution to a long-term problem.


Elevations Provides Treatment for Mentally Ill Teenagers

Elevations is a fully accredited, on-campus mental health treatment program for struggling teenagers that help Teens from all across the U.S. We help Adolescents who have, or who develop, mental health issues will oftentimes require the direction and treatment that a psychiatric based therapeutic curriculum can provide. At Elevations Residential Treatment Center (RTC), our gifted staff members have formed a mental health treatment program that was created to satisfy all the behavioral health needs of struggling adolescents.

While at the same time, we will guide them through the sometimes challenging process of recovery. So if you have been wondering how to find a rehab center, then look no further than here at Elevations RTC. You should also know that this process of recovery and rehabilitation is all done in a boarding school environment. The students will be placed with others in a community of therapy and academics. Here within the groups, the students will stay and work through the ideal program for them.

The staff here at Elevations RTC wants all parents to understand that there are a number of different mental health issues in teenagers that parents can’t afford to disregard. Conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, anger, and addiction all require proper psychiatric treatment if you as a parent want any substantial progress.

At Elevations RTC, we recognize the difficulty in taking the initial step toward seeking professional help for your loved one. And we urge you to call one of our family advocates so that we can assist your family and help you make the critical shift that your teen needs. With our help, hundreds of individuals have experienced renewed mental health. Your teen can have the same excellent results.

Contact us today at .




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The Elevations Team