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Understanding Mental Health For Youth

School, friends, family, the future- life throws a lot at you. Sometimes it feels impossible to keep up and that’s okay. Being a young person today is like living in a constant state of alertness. Social media, academic pressure, and figuring out who you are can feel like a never-ending game. But guess what? Taking care of your mental health is like having a shield to tackle everything life throws your way. Its not about being happy all the time, but about being able to deal with stress, bounce back from bad days, and feel awesome about yourself.

Here is why mental health is super important for youth:

Why mental health is important for youth? Saksham

Academic stress

School can be a place of learning, growth and friendships. But let’s be honest, it can also be a major source of stress for youngsters. Between exams, deadlines and the pressure to constantly succeed, can be overwhelming.

Racing heart and feeling anxious before a big test is a common reaction to academic stress. It can make it hard to focus, sleep, or even relax.

Stress can even mess with your memory and concentration, making it tough to learn new things to remember information for exams.

It can disrupt your sleep patterns, making you feel tired and irritable during the day. This can make it harder to focus in class, further adding up to the stress.

Social pressure

The pressure to be “perfect” online and fit in with your peers no wonder can wreak havoc on your mental health.

Social media is a virtual world, showcasing everyone’s best moments with fancy filters and perfect angles. Scrolling through endless pictures of flawless vacations, achievements and relationships can create a distorted reality. Its easy to feel like everyone else has it all together, while you are somehow falling short. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and envy.

This constant need of approval can lead to anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. The number of likes on a post shouldn’t decide how you feel about yourself.

Identity formation

Youth is a time of exploration-trying new things, exploring different interests, and figuring out what excites you. You might want to become a doctor or a rockstar. This constant exploration of building a positive self-image can feel overwhelming and leave you questioning if you’ll ever find your true path.

As a youngster, the core principles and values are still under construction. You might be influenced by your family’s beliefs, friends’ values, or the posts you see on social media. This creates an internal conflict as you try to figure out what you truly believe in and stand for.

During the phase of identity formation, you might feel like you do not quite fit in anywhere leading to isolation and loneliness.

Risky behaviors

For young people, dealing with stress, anxiety and negative emotions can be especially challenging. Many youngsters see their peers coping with stress with unhealthy behaviors like smoking or excessive screen time to manage stress, they might adopt those strategies.

Engaging in reckless activities like rash driving or having unprotected sex can be a way to numb emotional pain.

Drugs and alcohol can offer a temporary escape from emotional pain, but ultimately lead to addiction and a whole new set of problems physically and mentally.

Stigma around mental health

Mental health issues are often hidden in negative stereotypes. There is a misconception that they are a sign of weakness, laziness or even “craziness.” This can be particularly strong among young men, who might feel pressured to conform to a “tough guy” image and avoid admitting to emotional struggles. The fear of being judged can prevent youngsters from seeking help, even if they are desperately in need.

Even if young people are aware of mental health resources available, the fear of seeking help can be overwhelming. They might worry about confidentiality, treatment costs or the potential impact on their academic, social and overall quality of life.

The Bottom Line

Finding yourself is an adventure, but it can also be confusing at times and its normal. Explore your interests, figure out what matters to you, and surround yourself with supportive people. Remember, you are not alone. You have the power to take charge of your mental health.

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Taking care of your mental health is an investment in yourself, so do not hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. You deserve to feel happy and healthy.