Mental Illness in Teens

BY: Megan O'Steen | Period 2

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Background Info

A mental illness occurs when there is a complication with someones brain functions.

Mental disorders make everyday activities hard to accomplish, everyday activities such as



and even socializing with other people.

How They Are Diagnosed:

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is most commonly used in North America.

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is the main professional organization of psychiatric and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the largest psychiatric organization in the world. Its some 36,000 members are mainly American but some are international. The APA is funded by their patients.
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Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (AMSAII)

The AMSAII was founded in

1844 in Philadelphia.

It was made up of 13 superintendents and organizers of insane asylums and hospitals

formed the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (AMSAII).

The group included Thomas Kirkbrids, creator of the asylum model which was used throughout the United States.

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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide nonprofit, grassroots advocacy group, representing families and people affected by mental illnesses in the United States. NAMI provides support, psychoeducation and research for people and their families impacted by mental illness through various public education and awareness activities. The National NAMI organization is based out of Arlington, Virginia. NAMI is organized further into State and Local affiliates, all operating mainly with the work of thousands of volunteers.
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After a student's father was diagnosed with cancer, a 15 year old, Freshman, was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. He started skipping school, erupting in angry outbursts, yelling at teachers and punching holes in walls or retreating to his room paralyzed by an overwhelming sadness. His ability to preform in school was interrupted by his mental illness. As a response to this, the school proposed a test to be administered to the students to scan for mental illnesses in students. This is still in debate in the school system.

Famous movies/books on Mental Illnesses in Teens:

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness found these statistics:

1 in 5 adolescence suffer from at least one mental illness (thats 20% of our population)

Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression.

Suicide is 3rd leading cause of death is adolescence ages 10-24.

Approximately 50% of students 14 years or older with a mental illness drop out of High School.

The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s.


Mental illnesses are very common and often untreated. Solutions are seeking help through a psychiatrist or a therapist and/or taking medications.