According to WHO, adolescent is in the
range age of 10 to 19 years old. These group often consider healthy people but
there are still cases of death due to intention and unintentional injuries,
mental health, behaviour problem, nutrition and physical activity, sexual
health, and chronic illness.

HEALTH PROBLEM                                     

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Adolescent is in the phase
of transition between childhood and adulthood. They are in the process of
determining their identity and issues of independence, sexuality, and
relationships at this developmental stage. WHO define mental health as a state
of well-being in which individual realizes their own potential, able to manage
with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is
able to make a contribution to others. WHO also reported depression is one of
the major causes of disability-adjusted life years lost in 10–19 year olds.

Mental health problems
that occur among this group are mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and thought
disorders (such as schizophrenia) as well as psychosocial disorders. Some
disorder may develop or first become apparent during adolescence. Psychological
and social problems (psychosocial disorder), particularly involving behaviours
and school issues, and are more common during adolescence. Adolescents are much
more independent and mobile and are often out of the direct control of adults.

Levy S. an Assistant
Professor of Pediatrics in Harvard Medical School, says that when misbehaviour becomes
severe and frequent, adolescents should be evaluated for a psychosocial
disorder by a mental health professional. Adolescent often experience depression,
anxiety and eating disorder and it is common at their age due to their developmental
process. Adolescents who have anxiety or mood disorders may have physical
symptoms such as fatigue or chronic fatigue, dizziness, headache, and abdominal
or chest pain.

Anxiety often occur during
adolescence, followed by mood disorders and disruptive behavioural disorders
such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Tendency to be
anxious can be inherit. Anxious parents tend to have anxious children. Example
of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic
disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Thought
disorders, is an individual has difficulty in distinguishing between fantasy
and reality also can be called psychotic disorders, most commonly begin during
adolescence or early adulthood. The first episode of psychosis is called a
psychotic break. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are examples of
thought disorders. Periods of psychosis may be related to drug use. In these
cases, psychosis may resolve after a period of time.

Suicide is one of the
major cause of death for this age group and causes of disability-adjusted life
years (DALYs). NCBI classify suicide into two category which is suicidal behaviour
and suicidal ideation. According to D. De Leo, S. Burgis, J.M. Bertolote,
A.J.F.M. Kerkhof, and U. Bille-Brahe (2006), is their research of Definitions
On Suicidal Behavioural, they come out with definition of a nonhabitual act
with nonfatal outcome that the individual, expecting to, or taking the risk to
die or to inflict bodily harm, initiated and carried out with the purpose of
bringing about wanted changes. While NCBI describes it as action intended to
harm oneself and includes suicide gestures, suicide attempts, and completed
suicide. NCBI also describes suicidal ideation as thoughts and plans about
suicide. Suicide attempts are acts of self-harm that could result in death,
such as hanging or drowning. The causes for adolescent to conduct suicidal
behaviour or though are divorce, a new family formation, moving to a different
community, physical or sexual abuse, emotional neglect, exposure to domestic
violence, alcoholism in the home, and substance abuse. Having all of these
problem without good support network may cause to depression and lead to

disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, avoidant or restrictive
food intake disorder, binge eating disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.
These disorder most commonly develop during adolescence and are more common
among girls. Eating disorders involve a disturbance of eating or of behaviour
related to eating, typically including changes in what or how much people eat
and measures people take to prevent food from being absorbed. For example,
making themselves vomit or taking a laxative. To considered unusual eating
behaviours to be a disorder, the behaviours conduct by the person must continue
for a period of time and cause significant harm to the person’s physical health
or ability to function at school or work or negatively affect the person’s
interactions with other people.

Example of
Mental health problems and disorders in adolescents*

Problem or disorder

Prevalence (%)








Eating disorders


Conduct disorder


Substance misuse disorder


Less common

Panic disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder


Borderline personality disorder




Autistic spectrum disorders (such as
autism, Asperger’s syndrome)






Chronic Disease

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency
virus. There is effective antiretroviral treatment available so people with HIV
can live a normal and healthy life. Adolescent that infected by HIV mostly
through sex. These infected group some are unaware of their health status. WHO
reported that in 2016 alone, 610,000 young people between the ages of 15 to 24
were newly infected with HIV, of whom 260,000 were adolescents between the ages
of 15 and 19. Most recent data indicate that only 15 per cent of adolescent
girls and 10 per cent of adolescent boys aged 15-19 in sub-Saharan Africa – the
region most affected by HIV – have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months
and received the result of the last test. If these trends being continue,
hundreds of thousands more will become HIV-positive in the coming years. NCBI
have stated that deaths of adolescent related to AIDS had increased causing decrease
among other age groups and actually there is large number of children infected
with HIV prenatally growing into adolescents.

(per 1000 adolescents aged 12-18 years) of certain chronic conditions in


Musculoskeletal conditions:


Cerebral palsy


Skin conditions


Serious mental health problems:


Anorexia or bulimia nervosa





Type 1


Type 2


Respiratory conditions:




Cystic fibrosis




Ear or
hearing problems


*Uncertain value owing to differences
in disease definitions


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