Being a teenager can be demanding. Constant changes keep on taking place in the body and brain. This gloom might be thought of as just a hormonal imbalance or moodiness. But, in reality, teen depression is a very serious issue. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2015) reports that worldwide, over 350 million people suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of depressive disorders and a contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
What is Teen Depression?
Depression is a medical illness which interferes with the thinking ability of a person. It causes a consecutive feeling of sadness and lack of interest in any sort of activity. There are 3 main types of depression:
Major depression (clinical depression)
Can be characterized by a loss of interest in activities. It can affect thinking patterns and can impair daily life. It is very common among individuals and can resolve in weeks or months.
2. Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
Consists of episodes of depression lows to manic highs. They can range from loss of interests and mood swings to paranoia and low self-esteem. It can last for years and could need a medical diagnosis.
3. Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
Is also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder. Social isolation and self-criticism can be a major cause. Suicidal thoughts could occur often. It can last for a lifetime too.
Teens struck with depression can’t solely pull themselves together and get better. Emotional highs and lows often occur but they don’t have the tool to deal with them as they are still maturing.
Causes of Teen Depression
1. Peer pressure
( living upto society standards, smoking and drugs, desiring popularity)
2. Academic stress
( getting high score or grades, succeed academically, learning disorder)
( obesity, dark complexion, clothing, neglection, gender issues)
( domestic violence, abuses, financial struggle, traumatic life event, bullying)
Each teen may have a different symptom in accordance with the type of depression.
Insomnia, the feeling of sadness, changes in appetite, suicidal attempts, sensitivity to rejection, feeling hopeless and worthless, are some indications that are seen in teens suffering dejection. Some people experience a few of these and some encounter many of them. These vary from a person to person.
Diagnosis and treatment is vital for a teen. According to the symptoms, health and severity of the condition, depression is treated.
Help to alleviate the symptoms, antidepressants are prescribed
2. Talk therapy
Counselling sessions help to regain self-esteem
Stmiluates routine and provides good sleep
Spend time with family and get support
Schools should address such sensitive issues and should have mental health counselors to aid the teens. Exam stress should be lessened and encouraging a child to maintain a healthy and stress-free life should be emphasized. Mental Health Programs should be scheduled once in a month to ensure quality life.
Smartphones: Case Study
If you’re a teen who operates social media on a daily basis, then it is important for you to know how it causes depression. Smartphones are a constant contributor to generating depressed kids. Psychologists who study behaviors and shifts in characteristics of a human say that the devices placed in these young hands have a profound effect on lives and are compelling teens to less of social interaction and decreased participation in activities thus, making them lead an unhappy life.
Teens always have wanted to fit in their peer groups. Modernly, now they want to highlight themselves by going online. Social gatherings, outings, and accomplishing milestones by posting on their feed makes them think they are a perfect part of the crowd. Cyberbullying is another instance where the reputation of a teen is at stake and can be destroyed in a few clicks compelling them to take a harsh step onto themselves.
The solution to lessen the risk and still enjoy the benefits of social media is to spend a limited amount of time online and build relationships worth confiding in. And understanding the fact that nobody’s life is perfect and you must put your best foot forward to sculpt a better life for yourself.
An eye opener
Anushka was a joyous teen. She was a social media influencer, so, she felt the need to look perfect all the time. This obsession came from social media and her followers. She spent hours and days scrolling through her feed watching makeup tutorials and getting a perfect body and became conscious of her hair. Her curls did not impress her, she wanted perfect silky and straight hair and thought it would attract more followers. After that, she ordered international products, went to parlors and did everything possible.
She got what she desired, but everything comes with a price. So soon she started having hair fall and her prized possession was threatened. Soon only a handful of hair remained on her scalp. She could not post all this and eventually lost followers. Negative comments and messages filled up her feed and all this led her into self-doubt and depression and made it worse.
Anushka stopped socializing and secluded herself from the family too and had suicidal thoughts. Soon her mother found out and wished to talk to her. But all in vain. She became lonely and even her friends did not contact her. Finally, her mother hired a counselor who tried different tactics like a family picnic or getting her favorite food. But she didn’t show any involvement. One fine day, she showed her the picture of Katie Piper who had her face burnt but didn’t lose hope. And today she’s a successful model walking runways and working with international companies.
This made Anushka highly motivated and as a result, a spark of positivity shot up in her. She started socializing, tying turbans over her head and uploaded pictures sharing her story. People started taking it positively and above all, responded in appreciative ways. Just like after a gloomy night, there is a bright day similarly her self esteem got on the right track and today she’s back to normal working with an NGO, helping and guiding others to deal with depression. So, live a happier life because you’re a gem that we’re proud of to have! Cheers to a positive life. !
~Written by Jaya
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