Mental illness and Causes of Mental illness in youth

Causes of Mental illness in youth - colossalumbrella

With growing pressure and exposure, it is important to identify mental illness and causes of mental illness in youth. Kids and teens are constantly exposed to new things every day. They grow up so quickly before we even know it. Being mother of a five year old, I face a lot of tantrums and encounter a lot of behavior changes. I am not an expert about mental illness but with and some research, it is not hard to figure out that most kids and teens are affected by it.

As we grow, it’s normal to change since we learn new things and our bodies transform into our adult selves. But with all these changes going on, how can we tell which changes are normal? At what point should we start worrying that our child’s tantrums or teenager’s mood swings are more than just “growing pains?” It can be hard to tell. Mental illness affects relationships and the way we conduct ourselves in professional world including schools and colleges.

Causes of Mental illness in youth

Good mental health is quite important for a growing child and it allows your child to develop the flexibility to cope with whatever comes their way and  helps them grow into a healthy individuals.

Causes of Mental illness in youth and children

Mental illness can affect anyone at any age and there are certain factors that can act as a catalyst which makes young children more prone to mental illness Few of them are listed below

  • Long term physical illness
  • Family history of mental illness
  • Losing someone very close to you
  • Divorce and separated parents
  • Bullied or physical abuse at young age
  • Handling or experiencing financial issues
  • Experience discrimination, racisim
  • Educational pressure
  • Problems among family members, regular fights and arguments

What mental disorders are mainly seen affecting youth?

  • Depression: depression is quite common and most people encounter depression in varied degree. Lot of youth are seen depressed due to peer pressure which comes with exorbitant competition to grow and succeed. Some children are seen depressed due to pressure of education and comparison.
  • Self – harm: There has been a sudden growth with respect to self-harm. You might have heard about crazy mobile games pushing youth to perform certain actions including harming themselves and even suicide just to win a game. Many youth going through mental illness like cutting or burning themselves.
What mental disorders are mainly seen affecting youth? continued
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can cause young people to become extremely worried. Very young children or children starting or moving school may have separation anxiety.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can follow physical or sexual abuse, witnessing something extremely frightening of traumatising, being the victim of violence or severe bullying or surviving a disaster.
  • Children who are consistently overactive (‘hyperactive’), behave impulsively and have difficulty paying attention may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many more boys than girls are affected, but the cause of ADHD aren’t fully understood.
  • Eating disorders usually start in the teenage years and are more common in girls than boys. The number of young people who develop an eating disorder is small, but eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can have serious consequences for their physical health and development.

Things that could help children and youth keep up mental health

  • Good physical health and eating healthy
  • Time to relax and involve in some sports
  • Being with family and communication among family members
  • Involving with locals and connecting in local events
  • Feeling loved, trusted, understood and safe
  • Enjoying opportunities and accepting failures
  • Having optimistic and hope around
  • Good friends and hobbies
  • Belonging to a family or a group
  • Strength to cope with difficult situations with help of people around

When does mental illness occur and how one can identify it?

It is not easy to identify mental illness. In past decades, mental illness has been spreading its wings all around the world. It is difficult to identify mental disorder. It is not impossible to come out of it once you know that you are suffering from it. Most women suffer through post-partum depression and manage to come out it. Many young children and youth face tough situations which pushes them towards mental illness.

Most children and youth react in different ways when they are depressed. You may find individuals who prefer sitting alone or are unable to connect to the world. Few individuals get more aggressive than usual and lose connections or blame people. Some tend to choose a different path and leave their loved ones. Some children might hide stuff from parents and their guilt would make them depressed or angry. The symptoms are different for every child but a loved one could easily find out that something is not right.

What support is available?

A lot of help is available and major section of our society is focusing on mental health and causes of mental health in youth. You may find lot of mobile applications developed by involving experts. There are lot of experts and counsellors working with NGOs.

Parental help

If you feel that you are upset, please talk to your parents. They might not understand current situation but they are there for you. There will always be something for you behind this door. They are always waiting for you to knock it. Parents love talking to children and listening to you.

As parents, it is important for you to discussing feelings with your children. Always work towards creating a bridge between thoughts. Children need support and connection. Most parents don’t devote time since they are busy in their day today activities and children lack confidence in connecting with their parents. They are uncomfortable speaking to their parents, resulting in teens rebelling attitude.

Professional help

A lot of professional help is available in this field. Most experts are working mostly with well known NGO’s. If you have an issue you could talk to school counselor, nurse and psychologist.

Talking it through

Simply connecting with someone and talking about your feelings could be beneficial. Connecting with someone same age is great and gives confidence to a person. Talking about your issues help resolve and connect with the people. It creates a sense of belonging.


Experts do suggest medication in some cases. Lot of research is being done in this field.


If you are upset and depressed, remember it is you who has to fight it. It is you who has to find your happiness. None of us can have it all. 

A lot has gone into bring you in this world so before you try to harm yourself, remember the struggle of your loved ones who brought you into this world, helped you grow up right and constantly care for you. 

I understand it is not easy to find happiness but you can. You have that strength and love.

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Causes of Mental illness in youth
Causes of Mental illness in youth

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Mental illness and Causes of Mental illness in youth
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58 thoughts on “Mental illness and Causes of Mental illness in youth

  1. I’m so glad that you included racism as a source for the cause of mental illness as well. Racism is a form of torture, and the effects of it are passed down. It can cause anxiety and depression. It is so scary. Great post and thanks for sharing so much info!

  2. This was a really informative post. Many times depression is rampant in the Black American community and no one cares enough about young Black humanity to help the children work through their issues. I’m sharing this with several of my educator friends, academic community and a few parents. Perhaps if we pull away the stigma around mental health, we can come up with a treatment plan that helps all children regardless of their race, creed or economic circumstances. Thanks for sharing this information. Definitely sharing this out.

  3. Wonderful article. Thank you for sharing such important information that will hopefully take away the stigma of mental illness and get people to take it more seriously.

  4. As someone who has struggled for as long as I can remember, I’m glad there’s more info out now about how these things can affect kids and how we need to take how our kids are feeling seriously.

  5. There is lot of good information in this article but adding references from where you gathered all this info will add credibility. Just MO! Thanks

  6. Mental health is such an important issue. There are so many different forms of mental illness. One day we will live in a society where help is readily available to all that need it. More people need to be educated on the topic.

  7. What a wonderful post! I like how you have covered all the essential points. Yes, those are the major reasons for causes. Again I agree those(GAD,PTSD ,ADHD) are the main illness seen among youngsters these days.

  8. I work in education. I see mental illness in so many of our youth. There are ways to help. THank goodness.

  9. This is a very good resource for parents (even teachers) so that they may identify certain behavior that points to mental illness. Children do not easily express what they are feeling, so it is best that parents are vigilant enough to spot these signs.

  10. I think it’s important as parents to monitor our children and intervene with the guidance of a professional when we notice an issue. Just like physical issues, mental disorders need to be diagnosed and treated by doctors.

  11. It’s so sad to see so many youth these days with mental health issues. It’s good to know what to look out for though so we can make sure we can help our kids if they are having issues

  12. Rising awareness on mental illness and disorders is very important mostly when it comes to young people. Moreover, I guess today there are possibile causes still unknown to psychology because they are too recent, such as the social media over exposure, the inability of parents to use them property mostly when it comes to the way they decide to vehiculate their kid’s image. What do you think about it?

  13. I feel there is an increase in mental health cases every year. I wish we as a society could see the unlying causes and try to prevent them.

  14. Spot on with this article. Having had 3 kids recently go through high school I am very aware of how much stress these kids are under and how many show early signs of mental illness. I wish we would talk about it more so that kids would feel more comfortable reaching out for help!

  15. Mental illness is a key issue in our society today especially in our young people. Thank you for spreading awareness on this big issue. I remember being a teenager and battling so many insecurities. This is a conversation we need to have to get this under control.

  16. It is very sad to see many youth and young people suffering with mental illness. With blog post like this it will be helpful for everyone to understand mental illness better and be able to help those that are suffering.

  17. I learned so much in this article. Mental health should be given the same priority as physical health, and should be taken care of as early as childhood. Hope this post could reach more people!

  18. This is a great thing to share! I think everyone needs to hear this and this will help a lot of people!

  19. Mental illness is a very important topic that is close to my heart. A good friend of mine is mentally ill and i know first hand the challenges he goes through every day. Thanks a lot for the post.

  20. Family history and divorce affected so many people I know. It definitely contributed to their mental illnesses. It is good to raise awareness!

  21. I suffered from depression in my younger years and only really got a handle on it when I was older!

  22. It’s so scary to think of how much these can affect children. I’ve read quite a few things that describe the signs in young children, so I am always aware of my boys’ behavior. I know my oldest had troubles with another kid in kindergarten this year, but we were able to work it out. I’m just glad there are so many resources out there for both kids and parents.

  23. It must take alot of patience to have a child with a mental disease. I have a step son who is an adult that has ADD and im still learning how to deal with certain situations. It is tough

    1. It is difficult with children and young adults. Parents have to work towards it. Sorry to hear about your step son’s situation but I am sure a love and trust could improve things

  24. A strong and loving support system is so important. And being able to talk about it too. Great article.

  25. As someone with a 25 year history of mental illness – depression/anxiety and ADHD – this is very relevant right now … I’m vigilant in watching my own children for any sign that I need to intervene, with either therapy or medication because I don’t want them to have to suffer as I did without treatment when it would have been very beneficial to me as a teen.

    1. Wow! it is so incredible that you actually came out of it. It is quite difficult and most people dont understand it. I was suffering through postpartum depression and people around me made it worse. My family couldn’t understand my situation. I remember crying badly for nothing but ultimately, it is we who need to gather strength to come out of it. I don’t think your children will ever face it since you are great mother 🙂

  26. Really enjoyed this article until I got to that last paragraph. As someone who has suffered with anxiety and depression for much of my life, depression is not always a phase. It’s not always temporary. Many people suffer with chronic depression for much of their lives due to a chemical imbalance. Comments like this one worsened my mental health because it caused me to feel something was wrong with me because I struggled for so very long. Please consider revising this. Yes, there is situational depression. But all depression is not a phase that will pass away.

    1. Jennifer, Thank you for highlighting your thoughts. I appreciate it. I wrote it completely based on my experience. My father has an anxiety issue and he fight with it everyday. I feel that it is a phase of life for him since he suffers from it every now and then but with our support and my son being around him, he is able to cope with it. I have also had a depression for years and sometimes, I feel that i am still fighting it. I would look into your suggestion and try to add your thoughts as well.

  27. great ideas and great information. This can’t be talked about enough! Too many have chosen to end it in our area. They needed help. Keep it going, great post

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