May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a campaign to raise awareness of mental illness and reduce stigma. Research shows that many mental disorders start early in life. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are well known to appear in childhood, but people who suffer from depression, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia may also show signs by childhood or early adulthood.
Children and teenagers can sometimes experience intense emotions as they get older or go through stressful or traumatic events in their lives. For example, children commonly feel anxiety about school and friendships, and teens may experience short periods of depression after a serious illness or death of a family member or friend. However, mental illnesses can cause ongoing, severe symptoms that impact how a teenager thinks, behaves, and functions at home and in school.