How Does School Affect Adolescents’ Mental Health?
School is a stressful environment for many students. With deadlines, the pressure to perform and social interactions, your adolescent’s mental health issues might come to the surface. These mental issues might also display themselves physically, which is common in the case of eating disorders. It’s important to address these issues early on.
Remain diligent about your child’s mental health. Studies have found that 1 in 5 children and adolescents have a mental, behavioral or emotional health disorder. Unfortunately, 80 percent of young people with mental disorders do not receive the treatment they need. Additionally, eating disorders are also a huge issue that many teens experience. Studies show that two to three in 100 American women suffer from bulimia.
There are a few signs that might indicate that your teen or child needs help. They include:
- Inexplicable stomachaches or headaches
- Trouble sleeping with reoccurring nightmares
- Avoiding friends and other social interactions
- Struggling to keep up in school and grades decline
- Having little to no energy
- Experiencing periods of sudden, extreme energy
- Participating in harmful behavior
- Engaging in self-harm
Eating disorders also have many warning signs. The signs to look out for include:
- Skipping meals
- Obsession with perfectionism and checking weight
- Vomiting after eating
- Abuse of drugs, alcohol, laxatives or diet pills
- Anxiety and depression
- A sore throat from vomiting
- Always wearing baggy clothing
Handling the Issue at School and Home
Adjusting your child’s situation at school can be a difficult process to start. One helpful approach is creating a strong relationship with your child’s school and teachers. If your adolescent’s mental issues are affecting their work, ask their teachers to explain the situation. Together, you can strategize and create the best learning environment for your child. Discuss the idea of modifying assignment deadlines and parameters to cater to your child’s needs. These adjustments might be temporary– they can be lifted when your child’s health improves.
While at home, it’s important to create a safe, helpful environment for your child’s situation. Your objective should be helping your child manage their anxiety– not eliminating it. In the case of eating disorders, it’s also important to manage your child’s eating while making them feel comfortable and safe. This can be done by creating a supportive atmosphere at home. It’s important to respect your child’s feelings without fueling them. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t avoid situations that make your child anxious
- Convey expectations that are both realistic and positive
- Understand and respect their feelings– don’t amplify them
- Don’t increase your child’s fears
- Be an example of handling anxiety healthily
Getting Help in the Salt Lake Area
If your child is displaying any of the signs mentioned earlier, seek the help of a mental health professional as soon as possible. Family Counseling Center provides mental health services and eating disorder treatment that cater to your child’s needs. We can give your child significant relief from their mental or eating disorder with the appropriate treatment in Salt Lake City.