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Teens who view their homes as chaotic at risk of mental health problems


Have you ever wondered why two people exposed to the same environment often come away with different interpretations and responses to what happened? Only one person in a car crash may later experience PTSD. Even among twins who grew up in the same home, one may go on to develop mental health issues. How chaotic they perceive the home to be contributes to this. Perception is the keyword here.

According to a new study, teens who perceive their homes as more chaotic or hectic go on to develop more mental health issues in early adulthood. The research studied only same-sex twins in order to remove any form of gender-based emotions or bias that may affect their perceptions. So, the question of "she may feel more emotionally troubled because she's a girl" isn't there.

But let's face it. Some homes tend to be pretty chaotic, aren't they? Disorganized, visitors always coming and leaving, zero mealtime/bedtime routine, loud noises, just plain chaos. However, our perception may have a significant role in whether all of that will impact our mental health or not.

"You'd think the siblings grew up in different families," noted Sophie von Stumm, a psychology professor at the University of York and author of the study.

"Siblings who perceived their household as more chaotic than their brothers or sisters reported poorer mental health outcomes in young adulthood," she also said.

It's not clear yet why the same kids living in the same home may view the environment differently, but it's good that we know the consequences of a chaotic household.

That's because as parents, we owe it to our kids to protect them not only physically and materially but mentally as well. It's up to us to create an environment where they can thrive.

But now we also understand that there can be individual differences. And perhaps, the mental health problems are already manifesting.

If you have a teenager you believe is troubled—or if you're a young adult now suffering the consequences of a chaotic home during your formative years, our licensed mental health providers can help.

Whatever you're battling now, whether PTSD, depression, anxiety, or ADHD, contact us today so you can begin your journey to better mental health and well-being.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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