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Increasing Teen Mental Illness

Today the rate of mental illness in teenagers is increasing. Research into outbreaks of violence, such as was seen at the Virginia Tech and Columbine shooting, and has been shown to be a larger issue of mental illness in teens. There are many issues associated with this modern mental health challenge that mental health counselors and professionals need to understand.

What are your thoughts on the content the discussion below as it relates to mental health issues in teen adolescence? Do you agree or disagree? Why

The factors leading to outbreaks of violence due to the increase in mental illness in teenagers is a myriad of reasons. Such as the easy availability and access to drugs or alcohol as well as in today's age of technology, there is constant visual stimulation no matter where a person goes; from the 500 + cable channels, social networking, to complex and overly stimulating video games and the constant focus to one's own cell phone to either browse the web to texting instead of actually speaking to the other person. In this technological age children are more apt to not play outside and interact with other children directly like children and teens did back before technology took hold of people's lives. Children and teens are now eating processed foods and living a more sedentary lifestyle—which neither is healthy because now there is an increase in childhood/teen obesity as well as other illnesses such as diabetes, circulatory illnesses, substance abuse, depression and anxiety plaguing this generation due to this technological lifestyle (Chester & Montgomery, 2008).

Due to all of the technological stimulation, there seems to be some sort of false sense of what reality truly is because it is glamorized and encouraged to abuse substances due to peer pressure and in some cases to photograph or video record this behavior to heighten the glamor effect by posting on web blogs or social networking sites and this behavior is rewarded by positive or funny comments by their peers. There are even teens posting pictures on their social networking sites displaying violent ideation such as posing with a gun and portraying themselves in a "thuggish" manner because this behavior is glamorized by the teens in today's society (Chester & Montgomery, 2008). Most children and teens are not as physically active as they should be, and because of this, their bodies are not producing the appropriate biochemicals in the brain that can help ward off mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.

There is a correlation of mental health and violence within the teen population that is perpetuated by their peer society as well as the combination of substance abuse affecting their already acquired mental health illness. Teens with the highest incidences of mental health and violence are those who have been diagnosed with having either, schizophrenia, affective disorder, personality disorder and who are also abusing substances which increase the symptoms of these mental health disorders (Van Dorn, et al., 2009). With an increase of cyber bullying, peer society complexities, such as bullying or ostracizing because the teen is "not like us" or "is different" and teens living in violent environments, it brings to mind the age old adage of "violence begets violence" and that is exactly what teens with mental health issues are doing in reaction to the negative behaviors and actions that are against them from their peer groups.

The approaches that are being used to prevent future occurrences of violence in the future is that schools and community mental health centers are an integral part of intervening and helping at risk children and teens by understanding these factors and implementing early risk screenings and intervention as well as providing proper treatment of these teens within their communities so as to prevent their engaging in violent behaviors as well as treating their pre-existing mental illnesses (Van Dorn, et al., 2009). If a teen is at risk it may be imperative to implement mandatory or voluntary inpatient or outpatient treatment services to proactively address these issues and to prevent any future violent outcomes (Van Dorn, et al., 2009). During the treatment process it is important to address the social risk factors and the individual's mental illness in the development of the treatment process (Van Dorn, et al., 2009).

Solution Preview

I agree with this article. Each paragraph covers a serious problem that is affecting many children's and adolescent's lives from too much technology to eating the wrong types of food leading ...

Solution Summary

This essay was about how parents could cope with their teenagers. How to get a basic idea of how to deal with teens wanting 'instant gratification'.