Often parents are the first to notice that something is wrong. Teens with mental illness may be diagnosed after a doctor or a mental health specialist observes signs and symptoms and conducts a thorough evaluation. Evaluations take into consideration:
- Signs and symptoms observed by parents, teachers, and others
- Any history of significant medical problems
- A history of the teen’s development
- A family history of mental illness
- Any physical or psychological traumas or recent stresses, such as parental conflict or divorce, a natural disaster, or a death in the family
Diagnosing mental health problems in children and teens can be challenging, but early intervention is important. A diagnosis can determine the most effective treatment available, which may be medication, therapy, or a combination of both.