What exactly is a mental health problem?

It may be that someone has told you that you have a problem. You aren’t the only one. Many children and adolescents in the Netherlands have a problem at some point. They may even have different problems at the same time. These problems might be stress, a setback or a bad situation at home, school or with friends. You should see it as something being out of place, like being out of balance. There is no need to hide it or be ashamed of it.

Researchers have conducted a lot of research into these kinds of problems, and they are quite complicated. Here, we explain as best as possible what is now known about these problems: what they make you feel, what causes them, how you can deal with them and how you can rid of them.

To do so, we use the terms used by researchers and doctors. These terms are becoming more and more part of our daily language. One can argue whether that is good or bad, but at least now it can be named and discussed.

For you, however, it seems important to us that you know that you are much more than your problem.

Continue to focus on your positive aspects. Do things that you are good at and that you like doing – and do them as often as you can.

Whether it is a hobby or a sport, everyone has something they find interesting. Someone might be able to draw well, while another likes music or is good with animals. Look for support from positive people, parents, friends, teachers, coaches, aunts or uncles. This can help you through a difficult time.

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