According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors” (NIMH, 2018). Many teenagers suffer from anxiety and depression whilst their parents are unaware. Oftentimes teenage behavior is brushed off as the effects of puberty , which is a major error! The African Proverb, "it takes a village to raise a child", is exactly what’s needed in our society. We are living in a time where the need to observe teenagers more closely is evident. Every adult in their social circle has a responsibility to observe, ask questions, and offer assistance if possible.
ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
It’s important that we are aware of the signs of adolescent anxiety and depression, some of which include, sudden changes such as extreme weight loss, withdrawal, even ailments like headaches and stomach pains, etc. Early intervention is crucial. Anxiety and depression affect everyone differently, and coping mechanisms may differ as well. Genetics play an inevitable role concerning depression, and research suggests that depression can be passed down through the genes. Genetics account for forty percent of depression cases, while factors such as biology, environmental and psychological account for sixty percent of these cases (Medical News Today, 2010).
A DIFFERENT APPROACH FOR ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
There are many different theories regarding the rising trend of anxiety and depression. A great deal of blame for increased anxiety and depression in teenagers has been shifted to our continuous social media and technology interactions. In fact, even technology has taken our society to a heightened level of availability however, we’ve become sociologically unavailable. We have become unavailable to our youth in totality, meaning 360 degrees. Sure, parents all over the world are active in their children’s lives, however, what about when adolescents begin to feel different about life, school, and friendships? When they just want time for themselves and to be alone. Perpetual probing by parents may seem like a harsh choice, nevertheless, it could encourage engagement in open conversation which may lead to a release of anxiety or discussion of a misunderstood event.
Studies suggest clear regular communications with someone you love can reduce stress. Remember it's not what you do that counts, its how you do it. There are ways to probe without upsetting the child or adolescent such as just being in their presence when they want to be alone and listen to music with them, even sitting quietly with them, writing with them, etc. As teenager’s change, you’ll begin to learn more about them, for example, the type of music they listen to when they are sad, anxious, or mad. Paying attention to the simple things in their life could tell you more than you ever expected. Reiteratively, vigilance, both subtle and unsubtle is required from every adult in their social circle particularly those of close contacts such as a coach, a teacher or counselor.
When you notice that your child has changed in a manner that is not conducive to their growth. Do some research and consider the possible treatments and therapies that are available. Here at CNP, we provide students with all their academic needs to include tutoring, advising, and mental health advising. We can help your student that is possibly dealing with anxiety and depression. Don’t hesitate, please get the help your student needs today! For more information visit our website.
Depression: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
Helping Children and Teens with Anxiety Disorders and Depression: Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children/treatment-public-ed-handouts. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
6 Reasons Spending Time with Family Is More Important Than You Think: Life Advancer, Your Guide to Life Improvement. https://www.lifeadvancer.com/spending-time-with-family.