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We all know someone who is facing these challenges, and as a society we have come  a long way in terms of recognizing depression and anxiety in teenagers. However there is still more work to be done. There are mental disorders that the world has yet to recognize as a serious problem in our youth. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as many as one in 200 children and teens are diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder each year and 10 out of 100 young women with Eating Disorders. Additionally, 3.1 percent of older teens are reported to have Bipolar Disorder.

These illnesses are often overlooked, unnoticed, and misunderstood. Of course people know about these disorders and most have encountered someone with one of these in their lifetime. Yet there are many misconceptions being thrown around about these very serious conditions. For example, how many times have you heard someone nonchalantly use the term “OCD” as a verb synonymous with “neat freak?” There is much more to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder than the desire to keep things organized. Bipolar Disorder is more than the drastic mood swings depicted in the media, and not every person with an Eating Disorder weighs 90 pounds. The stereotyping needs to end, and you can help stop it.

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