5 Most Common Mental Health Problems for Young Adults

| Staff Writers

Young Adult Common Mental Health Problems

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Substance Abuse, Addiction
  • Eating Disorders

Mental health problems for young adults pose a serious concern for all in society. In fact, according to the experts, approximately 20 percent of all youth in the US are diagnosed with a mental illness in any given year. Not including undiagnosed mental illness, such figures certainly denote the importance of understanding and recognizing such illness in our youth. In that same spirit of awareness, we briefly highlight here five of the most common mental health problems for young adults.

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1. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a big concern of the medical community regarding youth and adults alike. While normal anxiety manifests in us all from time to time, in those suffering from an anxiety disorder, the anxiousness can be overpowering and continuous. Additionally, these disorders can be short or long term in nature along with having other distinctive features. Just a few of these common anxiety conditions include:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Panic Disorder

2. Depression

Next, depression also plays a huge and unfortunate role in the lives of many of the nation’s youth. This is quite different from the normal “blues” everyone can experience on occasion. In the various forms of childhood depression, a distinction can be drawn when the feelings are persistent and/or becoming disruptive to normal, day-to-day life.

The causes of childhood depression are much the same as depression in adults. Genetics are often to blame, while certain life events can also be a considerable trigger. Sometimes, chemical changes experienced during puberty can even be partially to blame. In all cases, though, a doctor consultation is the most important first step in understanding what is happening in the sufferer, according to WebMD.


Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have virtually become household names due to their commonality in youth and adults today. Within these conditions, the sufferer is prone to have trouble concentrating, staying still for long periods, and handling general matters requiring patience and centeredness. Fortunately, these two related conditions are usually treated with relative ease via medications and/or therapeutic sessions with a medical professional.

4. Substance Abuse, Addiction

Almost everyone is familiar to some extent with this burdensome and often quite dangerous health issue. Substance abuse and addiction issues are, in fact, mental health conditions, no matter the age, sex, race, or other characteristics of the person affected. This range of mental health issues is unique, however, in its ability to spawn additional mental and even physical health issues in the user. Even more important is its quick treatment in youth due to developmental impairments which may occur per their age.

5. Eating Disorders

Finally, eating disorders are yet another psychological ailment which is more than abundant in the youth of today. According to Teens Health, by Nemours, experts believe that approximately 1-2 percent of the entire youth population suffers from one. While these numbers may seem small at first glance, 1-2 percent of millions of children is the equivalent to many thousands of sufferers.

Such disorders all involve food, and often times, powerful matters body image as well. Anorexia and Bulimia are among some of the most well-known manifestations of eating disorders today. Much like substance abuse and addiction issues, these kinds of mental health issues can quickly and quite proficiently drag down any number of other areas of mental and physical health along the way if not addressed professionally and promptly.

Mental health is arguably as important if not more so than many areas of physical health even. Regardless, in children and young adults, such problems can be particularly troublesome and should always be medically addressed without delay. As far as individual instances of mental health concerns, these five are among the most common mental health problems for young adults and children today.

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