They say teenagers are the most misunderstood age group in the world- they are expected to act like adults but are still treated as kids. It is also the most optimal time for the hormones to kick in, the height of peer pressure and the time wherein most people are conscious of everything. Moreover, with the available technology, teenagers have been spending more time in the internet especially social media which can generate more stress and anxiety. These different stimuli are believed, if not handled well, to possibly lead to depression.
A recent study of Psychiatrist Ramin Mojtabai and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health focused on the rates of depression among teens. They utilized federal data from interviews of more than 172,000 adolescents. Results showed that rate of depression went up significantly between 2005 and 2014. That is, an estimated half a million more teens is experiencing depression today. And three-fourths of those depressed teens were girls!
A possible explanation to this is the constant online connections — via texting, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. This can increase teenagers’ conscious nature leading to one’s harsh focus on looks and other judgments from peers. Mojtabai also explained that girls "are more likely to use these new means of communication, so may be exposed to more cyberbullying or other negative effects of this latest social media."
Depression is a very serious topic that if not early identified, could lead to its worst case- suicide. And the rebellious mind of a teenager, add it up with the pressures of the society, makes them a very easy target. Hence, it is important for parents and family as well as teachers and school counselors, to keep an eye on any behavioral changes in the teens they live and work with. Take note that symptoms can be subtle and include changes in sleep patterns, appetite or energy, or a growing inability to pay attention and concentrate. This misunderstood age group, if lend a hand, can still fight any depressive tendencies and be helped to be back on the right track.