Glossary of Symptoms and Illnesses

Being a teenager is not easy. Adolescents feel all kinds of pressures — to do well in school, to be popular with peers, to gain the approval of parents, to make the team, to be cool. In addition, many teenagers have other special problems. For example, they may worry about a parent being out of work or the family's financial problems. Adolescents may be hurt or confused by their parents' divorce, or they may have to learn how to live with a parent's alcoholism or mental illness. Despite these pressures, it is important to remember that most teenagers develop into healthy adults.

Unfortunately, some teenagers develop serious emotional problems requiring professional help. This glossary of brief definitions was developed to help teenagers, parents, teachers, and others learn more about the major mental illnesses, symptoms, and mental health issues which affect teenagers. If you or someone you know has a problem in one of these areas, you can get help by contacting one of the organizations listed at the end of this brochure.

Please remember: All the problems described in the glossary are treatable and some can be prevented. In every case, the sooner a teenager gets help, the better.

The following disorders are described in this Glossary: