Top 5 Mental Health Issues of Adolescents: Genuine Reasons and Preventive Measures.

Mental Health Issues of Adolescents.

Mental Health Issues of Adolescents

Mental Health Issues of Adolescents are the burning issues of today’s world and it’s increasing exponentially. A good number of adolescents are suffering from anxiety, depression, insecurity issues and other mental health issues. According to the report published by WHO in November, 2021 titled “Mental Health of Adolescents” stated that-

  • Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global burden of disease in this age group.
  • Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds. This report clearly showed us that our adolescents are really struggling a lot for their mental health issues. Is not it? So, we need to provide immediate mental health care and support to our adolescents through the easier and available ways.

Major Mental Health Issues of Adolescents

Yes, Depression, Anxiety, Behavioral Disorders are the leading issues in adolescents as per the report of WHO in 2021 but Fear of Failure, Inferiority Complex, Phobia, Insecurities, Social Withdrawal etc. are also seen profoundly among adolescents. Similarly Eating disorder, Emotional Disorder, Relationship Issues, Identity crisis are also seen in adolescents, the top 5 mental health issues of adolescents are stated below in detail.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, are common among adolescents. Symptoms may include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat or sweating, nausea, headache, breathing difficulty etc. In Social Anxiety Disorder the adolescents prefer to stay alone, avoid the social gatherings and feel lonely and that slowly resulting in social isolation- social withdrawal and may be attempt to Suicide if not treated.

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    Depression in adolescents is a serious mental health concern that can have profound effects on their well-being, academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life. Adolescents can experience depressive symptoms such as persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in sleep or appetite, and feelings of worthlessness. Depression not only interfere with academic performance in class. Social relationships may suffer as adolescents withdraw from friends and family or experience conflicts due to mood changes or irritability. Depression can also increase the risk of substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal behavior.

    Mental Health Issues Of Adolescents need to be addressed.

    Behavioural Disorder

    According to WHO, the ADHD and Conduct Disorder are the two most common behavioral disorders, one of the prime Mental health Issues of Adolescents. WHO stated that Behavioural disorders are more common among younger adolescents than older adolescents. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by difficulty paying attention, excessive activity and acting without regard to consequences, occurs among 3.1% of 10–14-year-olds and 2.4% of 15–19-year-olds . Conduct disorder (involving symptoms of destructive or challenging behaviour) occurs among 3.6% of 10–14-year-olds and 2.4% of 15–19-year-olds.

    Those disorders not only affect the academic performance, social relationship, relationship with family members but also severely affect their characteristics and personality, in long run the conduct disorder if untreated may cause criminal behaviors.

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    Substance Abuse Disorder

    Adolescents may experiment with drugs and alcohol, leading to substance abuse or dependence. Substance use can exacerbate existing mental health issues and increase the risk of accidents, injuries, and long-term health problems. It is often seen that depression, social isolation, social withdrawal, suicide are directly related to substance abuse disorder in most of the cases. Again, WHO states that many risk-taking behaviors for health, such as substance use or sexual risk-taking, start during adolescence. Such Risk-taking behaviors can be an unhelpful strategy to cope with emotional difficulties and can severely impact an adolescent’s mental and physical well-being.

    Self-Harm and Suicide

    Suicide is that mental health issues of adolescents that need our immediate care and attention as it is the fourth leading cause of death among the adolescents as per the report of WHO regarding Mental Health of Adolescents. Some adolescents engage in self-harming behaviors as a way to cope with emotional distress. This may include cutting, burning, or other forms of self-injury. Additionally, adolescents struggling with severe mental health issues like depression, inferiority complex, post-traumatic stress disorder may be at risk of suicidal thoughts or attempts.

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    Mental Health Issues of Adolescents: Reasons

    The reasons behind mental health issues in adolescents are multifaceted and often result from a combination of biological, psychological, environmental, and social factors. Here are some common reasons:

    1. Heredity, Family History of Prevalence Mental health.
    2. Academic Pressure, Parental Pressure, Career Pressure.
    3. Unhealthy Family Environment- Parental Conflicts, Separation, Domestic Violence etc.
    4. Death of any Family Members or any one close to the Adolescent.
    5. Failure- Academic Failure or in Making Close Relationship.
    6. Childhood Adverse Experiences-Physical or Psychological Abuse, Neglect, Bullying.
    7. Societal Pressure, Discrimination, Bullying or Abuse.
    8. Any Traumatic Experiences of Childhood like Accident, Natural Calamity or Loss of Loved ones.
    9. Addiction to Tobacco and Alcohol, Substance Abuse Disorder
    10. Too much Addiction to Social Media, Online Games is also a major reason responsible for Mental Health Issues of Adolescents.
    Mobile Addiction is also a reason for Mental Health Issues in Adolescents.

    Mental Health Issues of Adolescents- Preventive Measures

    According to WHO, Mental health promotion and prevention interventions aim to strengthen an individual’s capacity to regulate emotions, enhance alternatives to risk-taking behaviors, build resilience for managing difficult situations and adversity, and promote supportive social environments and social networks. The Major Preventive Measures are-

    1. Promote Mental Health Awareness: Educate adolescents, parents, educators, and communities about mental health issues, including common signs and symptoms, available resources, and the importance of seeking help early. To reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues of Adolescents we should encourage open discussion and support-seeking behaviors and awareness campaigns.
    2. Promote Healthy Lifestyles: Encourage adolescents to maintain healthy habits like regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoidance of substance abuse. Physical activity has been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall well-being. Limit screen time and promote healthy boundaries with digital devices to support mental health.
    3. Supportive Relationships: Encourage the Adolescents for supportive relationships within families, peer groups, schools, and communities. Encourage positive communication, empathy, and active listening to help adolescents feel understood, valued, and connected. Strong social support buffers against stress and adversity, reducing the risk of mental health issues of Adolescents..
    4. Teach Coping Skills: Equip adolescents with effective coping strategies to manage stress, regulate emotions, and problem-solve effectively. We should teach them the Mindfulness Techniques, Relaxation techniques, Cognitive-Behavioral skills, and Assertiveness training to help adolescents navigate challenges and build resilience to cope up with the mental health issues of adolescents.
    5. Involve Parents and Caregivers: Engage parents and caregivers in dealing with their adolescents’ mental health. Provide parenting support, education, and resources on effective communication, discipline strategies, and recognizing signs of mental health issues. Encourage family activities, rituals, and open dialogue about emotions and mental well-being so that the adolescents can deal effectively with their mental health issues.

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    To deal with the Mental Health Issues of Adolescents, we should ensure adolescents have access to comprehensive mental health services, including counseling, therapy, psychiatric care, and support group. By implementing the preventive measures, communities can create supportive environments that foster the mental health and well-being of adolescents, reducing the incidence and impact of mental health issues on them.


    1.Mental health of adolescents (

    2.WHO and UNICEF launch new tools for the promotion of adolescent mental health and the prevention of mental health conditions

    4.Mental Health Interventions among Adolescents in India: A Scoping Review – PMC (

    5.Adolescence and mental health – The Lancet

    6.The mental health crisis among children and teens: How parents can help – Harvard Health

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