Teens searching on computers

Mental Health Of Teens

As a Christian counselor for teens, I encounter many adolescents who are wrestling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and identity crises. The mental health of teens like these can directly reflect the environment they are growing up in, whether it’s at home, church, or school. According to the CDC, in 2021, “nearly one-third (29%) [of adolescents] experienced poor mental health.” Forty-two percent of students felt “persistently sad or hopeless.”

What is affecting the mental health of teens?

Search for Truth

There are many sources claiming to be “truth” to adolescents. Social media presents a false “truth” presenting as perfection. The news reports “truth” as constant devastation and destruction around every turn. Society wants you to believe your feelings are the “truth” that guides each individual. And the Bible points to its words and to God to define truth. Teens can be overwhelmed by lack of direction and honesty from those around them. The general confusion and lack of foundation to build their identity adds to the feelings of hopelessness previously mentioned.

Home Life

The relationship between two parents creates the foundation of a household. When that foundation is shaken through fighting, divorce, death, separation, etc., there is a trickle-down effect that reaches the children. Teens in broken homes feel the weight of responsibilities that aren’t theirs. This can include the emotions of others, their own food, or financial responsibility. In these cases, frustrations stemming from needs being unmet leave teens feeling hopeless for a future outside of their circumstances. 

Isolation

Isolation creates additional stress for teens. When a teen feels unseen and unheard, they often believe they have low worth. Low self-esteem then creates a cycle of further isolation, as they believe asking for help will result in additional rejection. Isolation can be from people, activities, and even God. When teens begin isolating themselves from others, their judgment can become clouded by bitterness and defeat, and the lies of Satan can grow roots in their mind. 

Where can teens find hope?

In order for teens to find hope and healing, they must gain a perspective that is not reliant upon their circumstances or the individuals around them. Biblical truth offers a firm foundation to find solace from the chaos in these teens’ lives.

Jesus is TRUTH

”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.“

John 14:6 NIV

‭‭While the world gives many conflicting sources of “truth,” the Bible only gives one. Jesus told His disciples He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. He leaves no options for a better way. Not only does Jesus give us a source for the Truth, but He also tells us where the lies we wrestle with come from. John 8:44 NIV tells us there is “no truth in [Satan]” for he is “the father of lies.” 

Jesus fights your isolation

By identifying the enemy of truth, Jesus also fights isolation. Ephesians 6:12 NIV says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Knowing our peers are not the enemy gives us freedom from fear. Instead of running from them in fear of further pain, we can lean on them for support in our times of need. 

Jesus is your hope in any situation

When home cannot be a safe space, the Bible gives teens hope that surpasses their current moment. Paul shares his experience with hope in Philippians chapter 4. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I’ve learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (verses 12-13). As teens grow their relationship with God, they will find he shines light into their darkest battles in their mental health. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Teen Therapy at Life Training.

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