There are over 200 mental health conditions known in medicine. The most common mental illnesses that affect young people and teen boys are anxiety, mood disorders, attention and behavioural disorders.
According to the CDC (center for disease control), boys and girls are affected with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Still, as many as 12.9% of boys are diagnosed with this disorder compared to the 5.6% of girls. ADHD is just one of many mental health conditions that affect children and teenagers.
During the 1970s and even earlier years, no one spoke of mental health illnesses and, more so, no mention that it affected adolescent boys too. Talking freely about mental conditions was almost a “taboo” in some cultures and religious practices.
In contrast, some religious practices might positively influence mental conditions. For example, meditation and private prayer may help lower blood pressure and stress effects on the body.
When people heard of mental health, it was more of a “hushed talk” with still so much stigma attached if someone had to see a therapist.
Thankfully, things have changed. Today we care about mental health and wellness, and there is no longer such stigma attached to being mentally ill. Teen boys can speak freely about their mental conditions and get help.
There are, indeed, still some challenges that hinder adolescent boys from speaking openly about possible mental conditions. Some of these challenges include maintaining a strong outer exterior.
Throughout the years, men were not allowed to express their feelings and emotions, let alone be seen crying. Men should project strong exteriors at all times, and this is passed down in many generations. As a result, teenage boys are reluctant to express their feelings or seek help for a possible mental condition.
Reacting differently to feelings takes time, especially for teenage boys. Some steps may help this process along.
Accept emotional awareness
In this step, acknowledge what you’re feeling, perhaps Goosebumps to a heartfelt story, or teary when overwhelmed by a happy story. Emotions when hearing music and interacting with people are also aspects that can help adolescent boys discover their emotional awareness.
Don’t judge or be critical.
Judgment is one of the worst things that plagues folks with mental disorders. Fear of judgement will make teenage boys retreat and not speak openly for fear of being judged. Sometimes parents and guardians are critical of their kids, which can have a mental impact from a young age.
There is no need to keep things to yourself. Talking about difficult situations will get people to overcome a particular barrier or emotional stressors. An emotional experience can be big or small, but talking is a step to healing and managing it.
Be patient. The journey to acceptance and interacting with emotions is long, mainly when adolescent boys are not accustomed to it. The process of mental healing and change of perspective can take years, but starting is already a big step in the right direction. If your teen is facing any mental health issues then get started today with our mental health specialist.