Problems, Facing Young People

Everyone has problems, but, sometimes things can get overwhelming or a particular issue might start to really get you down. Your reaction to your situation can put you at risk for more serious problems, such as:

  • Mental health problems like anxiety or depression, psychotic episodes, eating disorders, schizophrenia (mental health problems are much more likely to begin when you are young).
  • Over-use of alcohol or drugs – if you use drugs or alcohol to cope, to fit in with friends or escape the situation.
  • Risky or dangerous behaviors, such as using illegal drugs, criminal activity like shop-lifting, binge drinking, vandalism, having unsafe sex, violence or driving dangerously like drunk driving or street racing.
  • Thoughts of suicide or harming others or yourself.

Life’s complicated. Some of the issues young people might have to deal with include:

  • Feeling isolated or lonely.
  • Family changes like parents getting divorced or separating, new step-parents or step-siblings, leaving home or living away from home.
  • Stress at work or schools like assignments, exams, leaving school, balancing school and work commitments or career options.
  • Pressure from family, teachers, friends, and others to do particular things or act a certain way.
  • Family or relationship problems like arguments with friends, parents, siblings and girlfriend or boyfriend.
  • Life changes like moving house or town, homelessness, changing schools, illness of a parent, sibling or relative.
  • Harassment or bullying from work colleagues, peers or others.
  • Alcohol or drug use.
  • Body image.
  • Personal safety and violence, abuse like verbal, physical or sexual.
  • Sex and sexuality like pregnancy, contraception, sexual identity or sexually transmitted infections.
  • Money like debt, mobile phone bills, paying board or contributing to home or budgeting.
  • Physical Health like disability or chronic illness.

How young people to deal with problems?

  • Talk about it
    Talking about your problems with someone you trust can help you to find the solution, put things into perspective and release your emotions.
  • Look after yourself
    It’s important to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthily, do things you enjoy, doing regular exercise and taking time out to relax. Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they can make the situation worse and lead to poor judgment and decision making.
  • Develop a plan
    When things seem out of control, sometimes it can help to make a plan, listing all the things you can do to make things better. Having a plan can reduce stress and give you some goals to work towards.
  • Get help
    There may be times when you can’t solve your problems alone and need some extra help. You might want to visit a doctor, call a telephone helpline or look at online resources.
  • Helping others
    If you know someone who is having a tough time, talk to them about it. Listen to how they’re feeling and help them to find extra support and resources. If you are worried there is a risk of violence, self-harm or suicide, call 911 immediately.

Remember, no matter what problems you have, it’s important to know that tough times don’t last forever and you can get through it.

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