If you're feeling anxious or depressed, or affected by eating disorders, it's a sign that you might be struggling with stresses or personal difficulties.
In the UK, about 20 per cent of people aged between 16 and 24 are thought to have a significant mental health problem.
Because adolescence and early adulthood are full of changes and challenges - sexuality, friendships and pressure to prove yourself in exams, for example - you can start to experience mental health problems around this age.
If you're dealing with other problems too, such as family conflict, bullying, bereavement, poverty, emotional deprivation or abuse, it can feel like a vulnerable time.
If you're depressed you may be:
- sad, withdrawn and less interested in things you used to enjoy
- worried and anxious
- critical of yourself and the way you look
- eating and sleeping much more, or much less, than in the past
- harming yourself (for example, drinking too much or taking too many drugs, cutting yourself or intentionally putting yourself in dangerous or risky situations)
- angry and aggressive
- confused and acting in unfamiliar ways
- avoiding college, work or social situations
Alcohol and drugs can seem to provide an escape from your problems, but can create an extra layer of difficulty if your use of them becomes excessive. Read more...