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  • Greg Smith

Julio Avael Discusses the Most Common Mental Health Disorders During Adolescence

Within the United States, one in five teenagers show symptoms of a mental health disorder. However, of the millions of US teens with a mental health disorder, less than half will receive medical treatment. Julio Avael III, a behavioral health professional, specializing in adolescent mental health, has spent the majority of his career developing resources both within and outside of American schools for teens experiencing mental health disorders. Today, mental health disorders are on the rise, and Julio Avael III is dedicated to raising public awareness regarding the lack of treatment made available for teens. According to Julio Avael the following are some of the most common mental health disorders for those between the ages of 12-24 and their symptoms.

Major Depression

Within the United States, one of the most common mental disorders among teens is depression. According to several reports, since 2013, major depression has risen in the US by 33 percent, and among millennials, major depression diagnoses have risen by 47 percent. Major depression, otherwise known as clinical depression, differs from depression in terms of severity. Major depressive episodes are episodes that last at least two weeks and show persistent symptoms of depression that occur nearly every day for the duration of the episode.

The most common symptoms of major depression include:

- Loss of interest in normal activities and hobbies

- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and loss of hope

- Lack of energy and difficulty sleeping or oversleeping

- Reduced or Increased Appetite, weight gain, or loss

- Anxiety, agitation, paranoia

- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt


Anxiety can be difficult to diagnose in teens as many teens without anxiety disorders will still experience anxiety and stress throughout their daily life. However, teens with anxiety disorders will experience high levels of anxiety and may struggle with daily activities due to their disorder. Additionally, anxiety disorders will often worsen over time rather than improve on their own. Common anxiety disorders can interfere with a teen's relationships with fellow students, friends, and family members.

Teens experiencing anxiety will often reference symptoms of:

- Excessive working, fear, and feeling of impending doom

- Inability to concentrate

- Racing and unwanted thoughts

- Irritability, restlessness and hyper-vigilance

Eating Disorders

One of the most common disorders associated with adolescents is eating disorders. Teen eating disorders often include anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. Of any mental disorder, anorexia nervous has the highest death rate, with many teens dying from starvation, suicide, or metabolic collapse. While eating disorders severely effect physical health, they can also be damaging to mental health. Additionally, teens diagnosed with eating disorders have been shown to be at greater risk for developing substance abuse disorder and self-harming behavior.

The most common signs of an eating disorder include:

- Extreme focus on weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting

- Refusal to eat certain foods

- Being uncomfortable eating around others

- Withdrawal from usual activity

- Mood swings

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