Parents Need to Take Their Teen’s Mental Health Seriously | Teen Ink

Parents Need to Take Their Teen’s Mental Health Seriously MAG

March 1, 2019
By Thesnowhitelady BRONZE, Richmond, Virginia
Thesnowhitelady BRONZE, Richmond, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

One in five teens suffers from mental illness. Parents of depressed teens often think their child is just going through a phase, and don’t take the symptoms seriously. When I was 12 years old, I noticed something was not right with me. I told my mom, but she said I was just going through normal “teenage stuff.” I went on with everyday life, but was not able to function well. I felt depressed  and seemed to be crying all the time. I never wanted to come out of my room or be around people. I even pushed people away who meant a lot to me.

I told my mother again what was going with me. Again, she explained away my symptoms by saying my hormones were probably just acting up, but she did agree to take me to the doctor. I knew deep down that whatever was wrong with me was more than just hormones. Parents need to take their children’s mental health seriously. Brushing it off as nothing will not make it go away.

I want parents to understand that 20 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 are suffering. Many of these teens feel like their voices won’t be heard if they tell their parents what they are experiencing. Parents and family members need to come together so that teens who suffer can get treatment. I was very scared to tell my mom about what I was feeling, and it made me feel worse to be told I was just being a teen and that I was hormonal. I truly believe that if teens were more comfortable talking with their parents and telling them personal things, teen suicide and mental breakdowns would decrease. Teens will get treatment, feel more positive, and be able to live a more normal life.

Parents need to check in with their teens and let them know that they are safe and won’t be judged. Parents need to take their children seriously. They can’t ignore symptoms of mental illness or label them as “teenage stuff.” From my own experience, I know that when parents help teens with their mental health, teens can feel like a weight has been lifted off their chest.


The author's comments:

Hi, my name is Raven I'm 15 years old mental health is very important to me. It's been a year since I have gotten treatment and everything has been ok for me. I just want to let teens know that you are not alone.


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This article has 1 comment.


on Dec. 21 2019 at 6:04 pm
cloudyphysicist, Austin, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I so agree! So many parents need to read this.
I got diagnosed by my school counselor with depression and anxiety, I have thoroughly researched depression and its symptoms and took many professional online tests and they all showed I was depressed. However, my mom dismissed my "feelings" saying "it was all in my head", "I'm doing it for attention", "you have nothing to be depressed about. My life was so much harder than yours and look how well I turned out", and "it's just a phase." It's so frustrating how she just dismisses me like that! Thank you for writing this and speaking out.


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