At BodiMojo, we support teens’ emotional intelligence, confidence, and empowerment. We know that teens have amazing potential: they’ve got grit and they’re resilient. But sometimes life gets in the way, and teens can’t bounce back as easily. While bouts of sadness, moodiness, and difficulty concentrating are a normal part of life, extended episodes may be symptomatic of mental illness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “Mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.” People of all ages, genders, races, religions, and cultures are susceptible to mental illness. These illnesses, like major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder, don’t just affect a few teens. In fact, 1 in 5 teens has a diagnosable mental health disorder. And yet the majority (60-90%!) don’t get treatment.
Proper treatment, including medication and psychosocial treatment (like therapy), can help individuals with mental illness recover and cope with day-to-day life. Before people can be treated, however, they must first be diagnosed. Knowing when to get checked is a key step in getting an accurate diagnosis.
And that’s why we’re supporting Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), October 5-11, 2014. MIAW raises awareness for the array of mental illnesses out there, fights stigma, and promotes screening for mental illness, like depression.
So, what can you do?
- Find out more about the signs and symptoms of each illness.
- Talk to an adult if you think you or someone you know may have a mental illness.
- Share your story and read others’ stories about mental illness.
- Join the conversation and help get the word out there.
Remember that mental illness can affect anyone. Speak up. Ask questions. Have compassion.