1. Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens to Become Depressed?

    May 8, 2014

    Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens to Become Depressed?

    Teen depression is becoming more and more common all around the world. Teens are known to have a hard time becoming their own person. Their pasts’ and the present affect how well-adjusted they become. If signs of depression are presenting themselves, they should be treated right away.  However, most teenagers who come down with depression aren’t sure how to handle it or where to turn for help. If signs of depression are presenting themselves, they should be treated right away.

    There are many causes of depression in teens, way too many to list but here are some of them:

    Stress Academically: School can cause a lot of stress for teens including the pressure to get good grades, make friends, be popular, get in with the “cool” crowd, what classes to choose, what sports to be a part of, and all of the homework that they are required to do. Other stresses include the pressure of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Each factor listed above is a major cause for depression in teenagers.

    Peer Pressure: Everyone, especially teens, want to be liked by their peers. When children become teenagers, they are still trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Most teenagers are looking to be popular in their group of peers. Some of the ways they attempt to reach their popularity is often through trying drugs and risky behaviors. They may also change who they are to become who the popular crowd would like them to be. This can lower the teenager’s self-esteem quite a lot. This type of peer pressure often claims many teens mental state which causes depression.

    Relationship Break-Ups: Teenagers aren’t usually ready for serious relationships. However, there are many teens that are dating and falling in love prematurely. This is not saying that teenage relationships can’t last forever but the honest truth is that most of them don’t last past high school. However, this fact doesn’t make a break-up any easier. When a break-up occurs, it will often leave the teen feeling helpless and depressed. This is one of the most common causes of teenage depression.

    Divorced Parents: In another regard to relationships, when a teenager has to deal with their parents getting divorced, they can become very confused. They may also feel guilty as well. It is important to note that parental divorces are never the child’s fault. However, the guilt that the teenager feels often manifests itself as depression. If this is the case, the teen should see a therapist or a counselor right away.

    Genes: There are many illnesses that are linked to heredity. Many studies have linked depression to genetic traits. If a teen has a family member who has had or is suffering from depression, they are more likely to have depression themselves.

    Having Low Self-Esteem: Unfortunately, there are many teenagers who suffer from low self-esteem. There are many reasons for this including acne, not having what they consider enough friends, and sometimes even the parents aren’t supportive enough.

    If a teenager is dealing with any of the above mentioned factors and they are feeling depressed they should talk to a therapist or a counselor as soon as possible. If they are dealing with any of the above issues and they aren’t depressed, it still may also be a good idea for them to see a therapist or a counselor to talk their feelings through before depression takes over.

    The first step in battling depression for teens is coming to an understanding of what is happening to their lives and their own bodies. Once they can grasp these understandings, they will be more likely to get out of and stay out of depression. While therapy or counseling is the first recommended treatment for depression in teens, some cases of depression do require anti-depressant medications. It is not a bad thing if a teenager has to be put on these medications; it just means they are getting their depression under control. If you are a teenager and you are feeling signs of depression please contact someone right away. Also, if you are a friend or a parent of someone who has signs of depression ask for help as well.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merfam/71578640/

  2. Child Depression

    March 15, 2013

    Child Depression

    We often tend to make fun of certain activities by calling them child’s play. However, it turns out that “child’s play” might not be that playful and happy-go-lucky after all. In the US, child depression on average tends to affect one in every forty kids. This should be a revelation for those of you who assume their child’s apparent depression as being just the “blues.” Neither is such a kid being emotional or moody, or even “difficult” for that matter.


    Yes, granted that children can start sulking at times if their parents or guardians have not given into their demands for that new toy or a sugary treat, even after they have thrown their fair share of tantrums. But the fact is that what with the fast-paced lifestyle that even kids these days have to cope with, as well as all sorts of synthetic and processed food that is being marketed to catch their fancy, it is no wonder that they have started experiencing similar mental illnesses as their elders.


    Symptoms of Childhood Depression

    If you see your child displaying irritable behaviour and getting angry all the time of petty things or on the flip side, becoming somewhat withdrawn socially or start brooding habitually, then there is a cause for concern. Furthermore, even though you might not immediately sense it, but your child is usually very sensitive to the environment in their homes and schools as well as the attitudes of various people that they interact with. Thus there is a whole range of emotions triggers that can bring about feelings of hopelessness, despair, guilt, self-loathing, worthlessness and even committing suicide.


    Worrying Factors about Child Depression

    The most disturbing factor that may be involved in your child developing a bout of depression with an underlying suicidal tendency is that it may be brought upon by the very medication that is supposed to treat it. Since the late 1990s, there have been several studies conducted within the scientific community that have shown that antidepressants such as the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft tend to increase the risk of suicide, especially amongst children.

    Your little ones have a body chemistry that is constantly undergoing changes as it is. Add to that a class of drugs that interfere with their brain’s job of regulating levels of serotonin, the so-called “happy hormone,” and you have a virtual suicidal time-bomb on your hands. Even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that is the official branch of the US government overseeing the marketing of pharmaceuticals, among other things, has issued strong warnings over the potential link between suicides and the usage of SSRI antidepressants.


    How to Effectively Alleviate Child Depression

    Where it is essential to discuss the moods and feelings with depressed adults, it is even more important to engage children and have a heart to heart with them. Children can also have a lot of hesitation when it comes to revealing their inner feelings and it takes time, patience and trust-building with them for positive results to come out. Make sure your children are getting plenty of exercise outdoors, preferably when the sun is shining. This is essentially for natural vitamin D production, the depletion of which has been linked to child depression.