Straddling two cultures is challenging, and for Hispanic teens it means being at a greater risk for depression, binge drinking and smoking, according to recent research from Florida International University (FIU) and New York University (NYU). The studies questioned Hispanic teens from Miami, Los Angeles and New York City and found that stress caused by discrimination and other factors correlated with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Immigrating to the U.S. is the dream of many people throughout the Hispanic world, but once arrived, immigrants often struggle. Hispanic immigrants, especially young people, face a lot of pressures and difficulties in this country. For adolescents, the pressure of bicultural stress can be overwhelming. They face pressure from their parents and other older relatives to remember their heritage, and yet they also feel immense pressure to fit in with their new American peers. Recent research shows that, unsurprisingly, this stress can lead to an increased risk of substance abuse.
Some people believe that depression is a condition that only appears in adults, who face everyday burdens of responsibility and obligation. However, doctors, researchers and public health officials have long known that the condition also appears in a significant number of teenagers. This fact makes appropriate teenage rehab for depression a mental health necessity.
Borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by instability in moods, self-image and relationships with others. Mental health professionals are often reluctant to diagnose teenagers with this disorder, because teens are still going through changes in mental development, but once a teenager is showing signs of a personality disorder, it is important to get proper treatment.
The senior year of high school is often a time of excitement for teenagers as they look forward to the beginning of their adult lives. It can also be a time of anxiety and stress as they step out into the world as independent people.
Bipolar disorder in teens presents in similar ways as it presents in adults. Because of young people’s unique physical, emotional, social and psychological challenges, bipolar disorder in teens can masquerade as extreme examples of normal teenage behavior.
Go back five years and few people could even define the term “sexting.” Now sexting is entrenched in both the conversation and habits of many people who find it both fun and stimulating. According to Pew Research, sexting is growing rapidly among couples and singles. The number of young people ages 18 to 24 who report receiving sexts increased from 26% in 2012 to 44% in 2014. Sophisticated technology found in smartphones makes snapping photos —and sending, receiving and resending them — extremely easy.
Borderline personality disorder, also known as BPD, is a mental illness categorized as a mood disorder. Someone with BPD typically has unstable moods, difficulty with relationships and erratic behaviors. If you think these characteristics of the disorder sound like your average teenager, you aren’t wrong, and this is a big problem when it comes to diagnosing troubled adolescents. Many teens display worrying signs of BPD, but doctors are often hesitant to make a diagnosis. It can be hard to distinguish between the disorder and the ups and downs of adolescence. The result is that some teens are labeled as having borderline personality traits. What does this mean for teens and their parents?
Consider two classroom scenarios: In the first, a teacher struggles to calm and reengage her class after the repeated disruptions of a student who cannot remain seated. He behaves impulsively—flipping over his desk and knocking books and papers out of other students’ hands—despite consequences (being removed from the reward system, being sent to the principal’s office, calls home to Mom). He laughs loudly and sporadically, and can rarely sit still for long. Sometimes, he becomes aggressive. When the boy leaves for the day, both he and his teacher are exhausted. He rides the bus home until he is kicked off the bus for “bad behavior,” and enters a home with a work-at-home mom and younger sister. Mom struggles to help her son until his father gets home, at which point Dad takes over. Theirs is a home of both love and disciple, though both parents are equally confused about their son’s behavior. A doctor tells them their son has ADHD and recommends medication; the behavior therapies and stimulants he is prescribed seem to help.