6 Ways to Address Mental Health Issues Faced by 18-Year-Olds

6 Ways to Address Mental Health Issues Faced by 18-Year-Olds

To shed light on the mental health issues that commonly arise around 18, we’ve gathered insights from six experts in the field, including a Certified Psychology Expert and a Registered Nurse. From mindfulness techniques to recognizing and managing anxiety disorders, these professionals provide a comprehensive guide on preparing for these challenges.

  • Staying Grounded Through Mindfulness Techniques
  • Building a Support System Is Crucial to Mental Health
  • Avoiding Social Anxiety Disorder With Healthy Living
  • Practicing Coping Strategies for Depression
  • Addressing Affection Withdrawal in Young Men
  • Recognizing and Managing Anxiety Disorders

1. Staying Grounded Through Mindfulness Techniques

Around the age of 18, anxiety disorders are often shared. This is when young adults transition into new roles, responsibilities, and environments, face academic pressures, and make life-changing decisions.

This particular uncertainty and stress can exacerbate or trigger anxiety symptoms. One effective way to prepare for this is through mindfulness techniques, which help recognize the early signs of anxiety and allow you to manage them better.

For example, simple deep breathing exercises or daily meditation can keep you grounded and present, allowing you to step back and assess situations more clearly and calmly.

Bayu Prihandito, Certified Psychology Expert, Life Coach, and Founder, Life Architekture

2. Building a Support System Is Crucial to Mental Health

At 18, many individuals face an increased risk of experiencing mental health challenges, one common issue being anxiety disorders.

The transition to adulthood, including changes like leaving home for college or starting a career, can bring about significant stress and uncertainty. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social anxiety, or panic disorder may emerge during this time.

To prepare for and avoid such issues, it’s crucial to build strong social and emotional support systems, maintain open communication with trusted individuals, and seek professional help if necessary.

Developing healthy coping mechanisms, stress-management skills, and self-compassion can also be valuable tools to mitigate anxiety disorders during this transitional phase of life.

Rhianna Jones, Registered Nurse, CanXida

3. Avoiding Social Anxiety Disorder With Healthy Living

Around the age of 18, the transition to adulthood frequently carries with it a variety of mental health issues, with anxiety disorders being one of the most common. In particular, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) can be prevalent at this age.

SAD is characterized by an intense dread of social situations, leading to isolation. This can impede the growth of relationships, educational opportunities, and personal development.

To prepare for and avoid Social Anxiety Disorder, detecting early signals such as excessive shyness, dread of judgment, and bodily symptoms (e.g., racing heart) in social situations is essential.

Support mental health discussions by allowing people to share their feelings without judgment. Getting support from a mental health expert, like a CBT therapist, is essential if symptoms intensify.

Promoting a balanced diet, frequent exercise, and enough sleep can also improve mental health. These methods can assist young adults with social anxiety and other mental health concerns in adulthood.

Dr. Jennifer Silver, CEO, Owner, and Dentist Macleod Trail Dental

4. Practicing Coping Strategies for Depression

Mental health issues can arise at any age, but there is a higher likelihood for certain conditions to manifest around the age of 18. This late adolescence and early adulthood period can be challenging and transitional, with many changes and uncertainties impacting one’s mental well-being.

They may be leaving the familiar structure of high school and entering college or the workforce, which can bring a lot of stress and pressure. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression will likely appear around age 18.

Combining hormonal changes, life transitions, and increased stress can contribute to this increased risk. To prepare for or avoid depression at this age, it is important to develop healthy coping strategies.

This may include seeking support from friends and family, practicing self-care activities such as exercise and relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help.

Keith Sant, Founder and CEO, Kind House Buyers

5. Addressing Affection Withdrawal in Young Men

Mental health issues can arise around 18 when young adults are transitioning into a new period of their lives. An example of this is affection withdrawal in young men. This involves withdrawing from close relationships and expressing negative emotions, such as anger or sadness, instead of seeking help and support.

To best prepare for and avoid this, it is essential for early intervention, which could include regularly attending therapy sessions, developing emotional intelligence skills, and developing an open communication style with trusted family members or friends.

Amy Ling Lin, CEO, nailsalon.nyc

6. Recognizing and Managing Anxiety Disorders

Yes, the age of 18 often sees the onset of anxiety disorders. This period is characterized by significant life transitions, like starting college or entering the workforce, which can be stressful.

Prevention involves recognizing the signs early, practicing stress-reduction techniques, and considering professional help if anxiety interferes with daily life.

Amanda Miller, CEO, Angel Numbers Guru

Putting Expert Tips into Action: Your Roadmap to Mental Wellness at 18

So, you’ve just soaked in a wealth of expert advice. Awesome! But how do you move from knowing to doing? Let’s break down some creative ways to implement those golden nuggets of wisdom into your daily routine.

The Mindful You: Staying Grounded Every Day

  • Start Small: You don’t have to become a Zen master overnight. Try dedicating just 5 minutes a day to mindfulness. Consistency is key, whether deep breathing or a short meditation.
  • Tech Help: Use a mindfulness app like Calm or Headspace to guide you.
  • Daily Triggers: Link your mindfulness practice to daily activities like brushing teeth or eating lunch. This way, the habit naturally integrates into your day.

Your Cheerleading Squad: Building That Support System

  • Weekly Check-ins: Schedule regular catch-ups with family and friends. This could be a weekly call or even just a text conversation.
  • Join Clubs or Groups: Whether online or offline, communities around your interests can also become your emotional support network.
  • Crisis Contacts: List three people you can call when things get tough.

Say Hello to Life: Keeping Social Anxiety at Bay

  • Baby Steps: Before attending a large social event, try smaller gatherings to build your comfort level.
  • Preparation: Think about potential topics of conversation so you’re less anxious about awkward silences.
  • Real-World Practice: Challenge yourself to a small weekly social task, like making small talk with a cashier or attending a community event.

Darkness Be Gone: Coping Strategies for Depression

  • Express Yourself: Write your thoughts in a journal or discuss them with someone you trust.
  • Get Moving: Physical activity releases endorphins, which naturally elevate your mood.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: Conquered a small task? Give yourself credit! Little achievements can make a big difference.

Men, Let’s Talk: Tackling Affection Withdrawal

  • Emotional Vocabulary: Make it a point to identify and name your emotions. The first step in dealing with them is knowing what they are.
  • Open Conversations: Use platforms like men’s group discussions or even YouTube channels focused on men’s mental health to broaden your perspectives.
  • Role Models: Identify men in your life or in the public sphere who manage their emotions well and learn from them.

Anxiety, Meet Your Match: Recognizing and Managing Anxiety Disorders

  • Red Flag Journal: Record situations or thoughts that trigger anxiety so you can discuss these with a healthcare provider.
  • Breathe: Learn a few quick breathing exercises you can do anytime you feel anxious.
  • Time-Outs: Take short breaks during the day to relax and rejuvenate your mind.

Each person’s journey is unique, but these practical steps could be your compass. Let the road to better mental health be one of self-discovery and self-mastery. Onward and upward! 🌟

Additional Resources: Boosting Your Mental Health Journey

After absorbing these expert tips, you might be interested in diving a bit deeper. Here’s a list of additional resources that can further assist you or someone you know in tackling mental health challenges at 18:

  • Recommended Books:
    • “The Mindful Way Through Anxiety” by Susan M. Orsillo and Lizabeth Roemer
    • “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
  • Apps to Keep an Eye On:
    • Headspace for guided meditation
    • BetterHelp for online therapy
  • Websites Worth Checking Out:
    • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
    • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • Online Courses and Webinars:
    • Coursera offers courses on mental health management
    • NAMI’s webinar series for young adults

Your Quick “Go-To” Mental Health Checklist

Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s a simple checklist you can run through when you need a quick mental health boost.

  • Check in with yourself: How are you feeling today?
  • Engage in at least 5 minutes of deep breathing or meditation.
  • Reach out to a trusted friend or family member for a chat.
  • Did you move today? Exercise, even a simple walk, can uplift your mood.
  • Avoid caffeine or sugar if you’re feeling anxious.

Connecting with Others: Community Support and Forums

Remember, you’re not alone. There are various online forums and community support groups where you can connect with others who are going through the same challenges. Sometimes, sharing experiences and tips can offer a different type of healing and understanding.

  • Subreddits: r/mentalhealth, r/anxiety, r/depression
  • Other Platforms:
    • 7 Cups of Tea, an emotional support platform
    • Talkspace community forums

When to Seek Professional Help: Red Flags and Warnings

When dealing with mental health, it’s crucial to recognize when it’s time to escalate the matter to a healthcare professional.

  • Intensifying symptoms that affect daily life
  • Increasing feelings of isolation
  • Physical symptoms like constant fatigue or stomach problems
  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts

If any of these apply, consult a healthcare provider for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.


FAQs: The Questions You May Still Have

Can diet affect my mental health?

A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can improve brain function and mood.

Are mental health problems permanent?

Not necessarily. Many individuals manage their symptoms effectively and lead fulfilling lives.

How often should one meditate?

Regularly practicing meditation can provide more sustained benefits, but even a few minutes daily can make a difference.

Arming yourself with knowledge, community support, and professional advice can make navigating mental health at 18 a bit more manageable. Cheers to a healthier, more aware you! 🌱

About Jacob Maslow

After surviving the traumatizing events of 9/11, I took it upon myself to heal through helping others. I’m the primary caregiver of my children and understand from first-hand experience the lonely paths you have to walk as a partner and parent when leaving an unhealthy relationship.

We’re all echoing in a dark space that doesn’t have to be this empty, and that’s been my mission since finding solace and recovery in therapy: To help comfort others who are still in shock and at the prime of their struggle.

I came across BetterHelp after searching for this type of community. I wanted to belong to a body of proactive therapists and supportive therapy veterans that allowed me to see other sides of the story.

It was unconventional, and that’s what attracted me most. During my most challenging times, when my ex-wife completely cut me off from my children, I found comfort and clarity through BetterHelp.

Instead of being chained to a strict therapist recommendation, I was in charge of who I felt understood my struggle most. That allowed me to find my true peace, as I was reunited with those who read behind my words and had first-hand experience with my trauma.

Recovery is a choice; with BetterHelp, that choice will be a few clicks away. You can join their couples-oriented platform, Regain.us, for those stuck with family estrangement and toxic relationship patterns.

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