Untreated Issues in Adolescence Linger into Adulthood: Teen Dating Violence and Teen ADHD
Two articles published today reinforce the notion that untreated issues in adolescent years linger into adulthood. The first article Teen Dating Violence Affects Well-Being in Adulthood published in USAtoday.com cites a new study that shows that teenagers who reported physical or psychological abuse from a relationship reported more drinking, smoking, drug abuse, depression, thoughts of suicide, and anti-social behaviors 5 years later. The study is hoping to raise awareness about this public health hazard and encourages parents, educators, and pediatricians to talk to teens about dating violence to quickly get help for those who need it.
The second article, published on webmd.com looks at a study published Pediatrics that shows that teenagers diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to struggle as adults and it can affect all aspects of their lives such as wage earning, working, and parenting. The study looked at the long-term effects of ADHD in teens and when compared to teens without ADHD, teens with ADHD had in adulthood:
- Nearly twice the odds of having physical health problems
- More than twice the odds of having mental health issues
- More than five times the odds of having antisocial personality disorder
- More than twice the odds of having impaired work performance
- More than three times the odds of having financial stress.
The teen brain is still very much in the developmental stage and is susceptible to mental health disturbances. Because teenagers are still maturing emotionally, mentally, and physically it can be particularly challenging to overcome issues such as teen violence, ADHD, depression, and anxiety. Left untreated, teens may develop ineffective coping mechanism. Early intervention such as counseling can improve a teenager’s ability to manage common challenges of ADHD, depression, or anxiety. It has been widely researched that diagnosis of a mental health condition such as depression increases the risk of developing other mental health conditions such as substance abuse.
As with many physical health conditions, early detection and intervention is the most effective way to overcome mental and emotional health issues. Talk to your teenager about possible issues that may affect their mental health and keep track of grades, moods, sleep patterns, friendships, and out of the ordinary behavior. The authors of the ADHD study and Ruth Hughes, CEO of CHADD, agree that a strong parent-child relationship and early intervention can help teens go on to lead productive lives despite coping with ADHD.
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By Miguel Brown