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mental health issues in teenagers

Mental health issues has been a concern problem in today’s society. But when talking about mental health, the old-school parents will usually ask this question, “Why are today’s children so vulnerable to mental health, while in the past they weren’t?”

Mental health issues are actually there from the beginning, but it is because the understanding of mental health in the past was so minimal, that it became covered by the society. Up until now, there are still many people who lack knowledge about mental health disorders. But however, people are now starting to find out about mental health and are more aware of this disease, especially bipolar disorder.

Based on a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 10-20% of children and adolescents worldwide experience psychological disorders. Half of mental illness is discovered as young as 14 years old. 5-15% of adolescents aged 12-18 years have a tendency to attempt suicide, spread across developed and developing countries, including Indonesia. In Indonesia, there are very few studies that focus on researching the number of adolescents with mental disorders. This shows that mental disorders are still something that is taboo and hidden in our society. In fact, it is not something that can be ruled out just like that.

What is actually a bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes extreme changes in mood or mood, activity level, or concentration and can interfere with daily activities. Bipolar disorder has an impact on changes in thinking, emotions, and behaviour. The spectrum of mental disorders is very wide. Hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, and the environment all have an effect on shaping a person’s psychological condition. Even the diagnosis of psychologists and mental health experts is often conflicted.

The most common symptoms found were feeling sad, anxious, and restless for a long time, isolating oneself, being indifferent to other people, careers, hobbies, and education, and the magnitude of self-judgment. In extreme cases, a teenager can easily panic, injure himself with either blunt or sharp objects, and exhibit suicidal tendencies. It doesn’t stop there. Other diagnoses such as PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), autism, bipolar, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), and others also have different symptoms.

The fact that this happening to the teenagers are certainly very concerning. There are so many people who think that those who are mentally depressed are just filled with irrational fears and can be solved by thinking positively. This understanding has become a culture in our society. Mental disorders have always been associated with a madman screaming in the street, or a middle-aged woman grieving for months at the loss of her late husband. In fact, mental disorders can be closer than we think, such as thinking of just dying instead of being physically humiliated by peers.

Those who are given a healthy mental state continue to deny all the problems these teenagers have. A veiled denial and the widely circulated ‘be positive all the time’ narrative are some of the reasons teens don’t want to share their wounds. Sometimes there is also anxiety about other people’s opinions, becomes a topic of discussion among friends, or is considered as someone who is just looking for attention. It is on this basis that most teenagers choose to face their own relentless raging feelings.

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There is one particular reason why this issue is important to discuss. Over the last decade, the number of suicide deaths, especially among adolescents, has tended to increase, by more than 30% for boys and twice for girls (CDCP). Until now, suicide remains the second leading cause of death in the world for adolescents and young adults (WHO, 2014). Nearly 800,000 people die each year from suicide. All these numbers should scream something for us. The decision to take one’s own life is unlikely to come from a sound mind. If we still think that we are human and let the younger generation fall when they just set foot into the real world without our help and encouragement, surely now is the time to question the meaning of our existence as humans themselves.

This is certainly cannot represent the entire voice of teenagers who are struggling with mental disorders. But let’s from now on we have to admit that nowadays the expectations of the younger generation have become so great as a result of advances in technology and information that are constantly bombarding them, and this of course also puts pressure on the psyche of teenagers. It is not impossible when parents are watching television or laughing together, there are teenagers who cry and hurt themselves in their rooms. While some students are excited to go to school, there may be others who even find it difficult to find the spirit to continue living and just lie weak.

Although it is something complex, people can slowly show their empathy for people with mental disorders. Counsellors and counsellors who are competent in educational institutions are one of the first gateways to knowledge about mental disorders for adolescents. Seminars and outreach about the importance of mental health can also be conducted occasionally to introduce this concept.

In addition, we can also create a an emergency telephone number that is easily accessible for students if they are thinking about hurting themselves or other unwanted things. All aspects of society play a role in creating a support system for people with mental disorders, especially teenagers. Mental disorders must stop being regarded as something strange, despicable, and foreign to our society. All sufferers, especially teenagers who are struggling need a lot of strong support. They are like people who are trying to recover from illness. The notion that they are ‘healthy’ people just because they don’t look ‘sick’ must be dispelled, because even so, it does not mean that mental disorders are non-existent, unrealistic, and invalid. By ignoring and ignoring them, we only make things worse. All the feelings created in their minds are not a choice, but a trial. Accompanying them in the routine of therapy and taking drugs, showing affection and moral support, and dispelling the stigma that is milling about in society about people with mental disorders will also provide encouragement, hope and a future for them.


What causing this mental health issue?

The cause of bipolar is still not known with certainty. Several studies indicate the possibility of genetic factors that play a role in triggering this disorder. In addition to genetic factors, there are several other factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing bipolar disorder, namely: experiencing deep sadness due to everything that makes you disappointed, traumatic experiences, and so on. However, we need to underline, this must be based on the diagnosis of the expert. So, don’t ever self-diagnose.

This mental health condition in the form of bipolar cannot be determined. Usually they experience mood swings from happy to sad at a fast tempo. People with bipolar disorder have 2 phases in their life, namely maniac and depression.

What is maniac? Maniac is a different mood state from the depressive phase. A person with bipolar disorder who experiences a maniac phase will generally feel very excited, both physically and mentally. Usually, they will be very enthusiastic and full of motivation in going through the day.

The common symptoms of people with bipolar disorder during the maniac phase include: high spirits, excessive pleasure, relentless, and sensitive. Others can think many things at once and feel very special, and speak very quickly. In this phase they tend to act impulsively so they can do anything immediately.

Then, what about the depression phase?

The opposite of the maniac phase, usually in the depression phase, someone with bipolar disorder will feel unmotivated and even lose interest in doing something that ultimately makes the body feel tired even though it is not active. In this phase, people with bipolar disorder often feel hopeless, feel that they have failed, even to the point of wanting to end their life.

The common symptoms of people with bipolar disorder in the depressive phase include: feeling very sad, difficulty sleeping, speaking very slowly (feeling difficulty in thinking), loss of interest in activities, feeling hopeless, feeling excessively tired, irritable, and so on. In this phase, people with bipolar disorder can even feel chronic pain in their body for no apparent reason.

Some experts suggest that a person who suffer this maniac is to use this as a chance to be active, to try new things, and do various activities that they like. This is because when they go through that phase, they feel very excited and excited. So, they could use it to do a lot of things that will make them stay productive.

When they are going through a maniac phase, maybe people will think that they are too much in the activities. Yes, in that phase they somehow became very workaholic and tireless. However, it feels better if they use that opportunity to do positive things. Because, they never know when the depression phase will come to me. If that time comes, they could lose their enthusiasm and interest in anything. This is quite disturbing because the activities become very hampered and their body will become so tired.

              Perhaps this will lead to a brief conclusion that every people really need to know themselves more and more. Because the only one who understands you the most is yourself. Do not try to force yourself in a situation where you need help the most.