Teen Mental Health

Teens are facing more pressure than ever to conform, be the best, and be “known” in the world for some unique success or personality. It’s ingrained in our culture now to show off our highlight reel online and pretend that everything is going okay. Added pressures from constant online social media connections, unrealistic expectations of physical looks, and growing family pains might all play a role in what teens deal with in their everyday lives. For young adults who don’t yet have a healthy coping mechanism established, they can easily turn to addictive drugs or alcohol. With added pressures from their friends or other peers, these pressures can all mount up and spiral out of control. Over the long haul, young adults can start to suffer from withdrawal effects, worsened immune systems, poor mental functioning, and conditions like anxiety, depression, or even ADHD. A recent study in the UK found that millennials are actually experiencing higher levels of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide than the generations of our parents and earlier. Even without substance abuse, many teens, especially those in the college system are reporting all-time highs of depression and anxiety than any other generation. That’s scary to think about as we can’t tell what kind of struggles young adults are going through on the inside.

While it might feel stressful or anxiety inducing to talk to a young adult that you suspect is going through an addiction to cope with their poor mental health, having an honest conversation is critical. The famous life coach Tony Robbins once said that “life starts at the end of your comfort zone”, and I couldn’t agree more with his belief. We all have to stay accountable for those we care about, even if it means confronting their worst fears and addictions alongside them. Let’s walk through causes of depression in teens and how to handle a drug addict child. Knowing the tips before you go into an intervention will strengthen your persuasion incredibly!

Teen mental health needs to be better understood.

Causes of Depression In Teens

Depression can come about from many different reasons. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause trauma over time if nothing is addressed. Many teenagers might go through emotional and physical problems throughout their normal lives and might try to suppress their symptoms as well. While causes of depressions in teens are unclear at times, in many cases they are facing social pressures, high academic standards, family problems, and are going through changes with adolescence as well. For teens, the highs and lows in their moods could stem from their hormones going from extreme changes as they develop. Any teen needs to know that their symptoms of depression aren’t a sign of weakness and shouldn’t be laughed about.

Symptoms of depression in teens can go across the board since every individual is affected by it differently.  Lots of mental health research has linked severe perfectionism with issues like anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. With so much mounting pressure, some teens might feel that the perfect drug is downing a few drinks to take the edge off. Key signs of depression include losing interest in hobbies, being less present and available, exhibiting mood swings, new behaviors of isolation, and just being “unplugged” in general from the world. They may show signs of extreme weight loss or weight gain, poor sleeping habits, worse off hygiene rituals, and may even struggle to get out of bed. Recognizing these signs in yourself or someone you know is crucial so help can be provided as soon as possible.

Getting Help

For most teens, depression symptoms can ease up with consistent treatment programs like medication and psychological counseling. Talking to others about your fears and using healthier activities to take your mind off the pressure is the best thing to do. The worst way to deal with your anxiety or any signs of depression is to drink or get high to escape reality. Instead, take terms into your own hands and acknowledge that you have a problem with your health that must be dealt with. See a professional who is trained in the area and dealing with teenagers especially.Feeling depressed as a teen is nothing to be embarrassed about, as we all feel it at some point in our life. We do have a choice in how we deal with our emotions in the end, so it’s up to us to manage it correctly. Feeling abused, neglected, or regularly consuming alcohol or drugs can also lead to depression itself, so watch out for your mental health and weekly activities in the process.

If you need more immediate help or are getting suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by phone or talk to a mental health treatment center. Many local colleges, health centers, and hospitals have their own counselors who can take of you needs and point you to the right direction. They are trained to address your problems and can lead you to possibly natural alternatives in holistic therapy to pinpoint the root of symptoms of depression. Coming from someone who once went through depression for nearly a year, I can say that there is no magical fix but a transformative journey. You will learn important things about yourself and gain strength to combat negative thoughts and events in your life for the future. With that said, talking to a counselor really helped me understand my thought process and deal with people or locations that triggered my negativity. Having their help allowed me to form a battle plan to combat it and make helpful connections with people who supported me new lifestyle as well!


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