Recognizing Signs of Mental Illness in Teens

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of mental illness in teens and seek help as soon as possible. While some everyday stresses can cause changes in a teen’s behavior, pay special attention to behaviors that include:

  • Persistent problems across a variety of settings such as school, at home, and with peers
  • Changes in sleep or appetite
  • Social withdrawal; lack of interest in activities the teen formerly enjoyed
  • Mood changes and signs of being upset, such as tearfulness and sadness
  • Self-destructive and impulsive behavior
  • Use of drugs and alcohol
  • Frequent thoughts of self-harm or death

Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need.