Mental Health in Teens

Matthew Sing, Reporter

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One in 5 children ages 13 to 18 have a serious mental illness (www.mental health first, in 1988, one in ten kids had mental illness.Ten percent of teens have depression.You may be wondering why so many teens have mental illness. Well, some get it from genetics and some get it from trauma,and some is just due to the pressure of society. 

Here is some background information on mental illness. Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities. 

Mental illness is different for everyone, even people with the same diagnosis. It may change some people’s outlook on life to understand how many people have mental illness.

The 3 most common mental health stereotypes are:

  1. Depression is an emotion not a disease.

This is false according to to the American Psychiatric Association. Depression is a serious mental illness that affects mood,emotional status and way of life. Clinical depression doesn’t mean you feel low as an emotion.Clinical depression is when you have a disease causing you to feel depressed.

       2.Mental illness makes people very violent. 

This common stereotype is vastly exaggerated by the media. In fact, although some mental disorders (antisocial personality disorder and the acute stage of some psychotic disorders) do have aggression and violence as possible symptoms, recent research has shown that using alcohol and drugs is much more probable of violent behavior than is a mental disorder (

        3. People with mental illness are not smart.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some prime examples of people with mental illness that were smart is Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln,and Isaac Newton.(.

If you or anyone you know needs help or is in a crisis, call 911 immediately and if you or someone you know needs to talk call  1-800-273-TALK.