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10 facts about mental health in teenage girls.

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About half of all mental disorders start before the age of 14 and statistically girls are more at risk during the teenage years than boys. The good news is, as soon as a problem is identified, a plan can be put in place to help the person concerned. If you're interested in mental health, or want to know some of the signs of mental health issues in teenage girls, take a look at the fact below, and remember #ItsOkayToTalk.

Anxiety and depression

1 in 3 teen 1 girls will suffer from anxiety and depression. This is a rise of 10% in the last decade.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/22/third-teenage-girls-depression-anxiety-survey-trend-truant

Emotional maturity

Girls mature emotionally more quickly than boys 2. This could be what makes them more vulnerable to anxiety and depression at a younger age.

How to spot anxiety and depression

The key to overcoming anxiety and depression in teenage girls is to recognise the symptoms 3 and seek help as soon as possible. The first thing to n otice is withdrawal or if she stops doing the things she used to enjoy.

Changes in habits

As well as mood changes like sadness and irritability, qu estion changes in appetite, energy levels, sleep, problematic behaviour and academic performance as possible signs of mental illness.

Internalised behaviour

Anxiety and depression can be tricky to spot because someone suffering is experiencing a disturbed emotional state and can inter nalise this rather than playing it out externally as disruptive behaviour or similar. Th is withdrawal can have a

Modern life

Modern life offers a range of pressures for teenage girls 4. They are faced with school stress (both academic and peer related), body image, ear ly sexualisation, bullying on and off line and other stressors associated with social me dia.

CBT/CAT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) can be hugely successful in treating mood disorders 6. They work by challenging negative thoughts.

Arts Therapies

Art, drama and music therapies take place in a therap eutic setting and encourage creative expression without using words 7. These therapies can be really helpful in communicating emotions, feelings and issues. This is a good starting point for treating mental illness.

Mindfulness

This is a popular word at the moment but has been shown to be very successful in treating anxiety and depression caused by stressful and b usy lives 8 . It allows people to reconnect with themselves and become more attuned to their emotions. Taking time to appreciate our physical surroundings and our own mental state is a balm against all the pressures of modern life, including th ose faced by teenage girls today.

Although the statistics make for difficult reading, if we can raise awareness and remove the stigma of mental health, we have a good chance of tackl ing these uncomfortable emotions that teenage girls are experiencing. There is help out there that can help encourage good mental health well into adulthood.

http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/young-people-stats.html https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs--treatments/arts-therapies/#.WVomZsaZPq0 http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mindfulness.aspx

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