Mental Illness in Young People

“Roughly half of all lifetime mental disorders…start by the mid‐teens and three‐fourths by the mid‐20s.” (US National Library of Medicine; National Institutes of Health)

Research shows us that most people with mental illness have been experiencing it since adolescence or young adulthood. In fact, prevalence of mental illness is nearly identical among adult and teen populations.

The most common mental health issues affecting young people are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism.

Ch-ch-changes (and other external factors)

For teens and young adults, change is the norm–physical, emotional, and social. Between puberty, building and losing relationships, and experiencing major life milestones, these changes come with plenty of stress.

Moving or changing schools, lack of self-esteem, arguments with friends and family, and other social or school pressures can contribute to mental health problems in teens.

Recent studies show that these stressors are extending beyond adolescence. “In 2014, the proportion of [college] students who said they felt frequently depressed rose to 9.5 percent,” according to a UCLA study.

Young adults face financial hardships, the stress of looking for a job and moving out, and other major life changes. The state of the economy and social issues can also lead to feelings of sadness or worrying for the future.

It’s in our biology.

It is important to remember that there is a biological/genetic component to mental illness as well. This means that anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. are sometimes embedded in our brain systems.

It makes sense, actually, that the closer we are to reaching full brain development, the more this biology and psychology begins to shine through.

Blueprint Mental Health: Young Adult & Teen Therapy

Blueprint Mental Health provides outpatient mental health therapy and groups for teens and young adults. We utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to help young people experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Through these therapies, individuals learn to cope with external stressors and change patterns of behavior that may be preventing them from enjoying life.

For more information on Blueprint Mental Health, call (908) 256-6965 or e-mail


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