The Rise of Teen Depression
The number of teens who have reported symptoms of depression is rising at an alarming rate. This has provoked many people to dedicate research into figuring out why it has increased so drastically for this group of people. To find out a cause or correlation, you must fully understand the disease first. Depression is a mental illness that affects how people feel; it usually causes people to experience feelings of sadness or numbness. A person’s brain chemistry, hormones, inherited traits, early childhood trauma, or learned patterns of negative thinking could all be causes for someone suffering with depression.
Depression is on the rise for people of all age groups but is the fastest for teens and young adults. One might question why when young people are at such a happy point in their life that many of them are becoming clinically depressed. The world we are living in is forever changing. The networks and devices we possess now are possibly responsible for isolating us from actual human connections. The answer to the epidemic of teen depression may not be as far from our eyes as we think, but rather it is literally in our own hands. Despite the many opportunities smartphones and social media have provided, the detrimental effects may outweigh it.
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In these times, people are desperate for immediate gratification. A smartphone can easily provide that, as can a social network. Through these things, you can interact with a community from your own home. You can witness a stranger’s daily events with just the swipe of a finger. The average age children are getting smartphones is ten years old. Although, there are age limits in place for social media networks to prevent young children from having a profile, they often get ignored.
People tend to post the best version of their lives on social media. Sometimes, this version can be a complete fabrication. People will see what others want them to see, whether it is true or false. Today’s culture is often described as being hyper sensitive. People are seeking constant validation through these networks, and they don’t know how to handle rejection. Being a hypersensitive society can be very complicated, considering, social media leaves much to be interpreted. Social media provides people with a short-term fixation, instead of a long-term solution.
The teenage years are a particularly vulnerable and impressionable time for people. During this time, they are learning a lot about life and themselves. Teenagers also have heightened, and sometimes irrational insecurities. What is deathly important them may not matter to a middle-aged adult. One person’s negative opinion has more probability to damage a high schooler’s self-worth than someone ten years older. Young people seek approval from their peers at every turn. They desire likes, retweets, or anything that makes them feel important in the world of social media. This desire for approval and validation from people behind the screen can have a devastating effect. Teen suicides that are the result of cyber bullying often receive national coverage Not only is there the risk for cyber bullying but just pure isolation.
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