By Dr. Judith Foster
Teenagers today are vastly different than they were a generation ago, though adolescents have always been challenging the system’s norms set by the families and social structure. Alarmingly, today we can note how the mental health status of teenagers is deteriorating, as they have more pressures now. Today they have many walls to climb mentally, this is one big reason for their mental stress.
The concept of freedom they follow, land them up in their own web. Their issues that can trouble them mentally are many and parents and teachers will have to understand its full implications and impact on their growing minds. Some studies point it out that mental health deterioration among teenagers is because of depression. And what causes depression? Here are some normal stress factors that could be those tormenting reasons.
The causes affecting teenager’s mental health
- Extra pressure from home to do well in studies, beyond their ambitions.
- Dropping out from the school for their offending behavior, poor attendance, or for poor concentration in studies.
- Mental health issues attributing to their indulgence in alcohol drinking, tobacco or use of illicit banned drugs or other substances.
- Adolescent pregnancy and stress owing to teenagers’ dating partners is also one of the prevalent reasons.
- Abnormal childhood situations including parents fighting constantly is another major reason for their trauma.
- The latest studies have concluded that social media is found to be the culprit. Seeing other’s edited snippets and postings about their life, on Facebook or Instagram can give teenagers a sense of inferiority and low esteem. Looking at other’s depicted high profile lives can cause envy that can lead to depression.
- The studies have also found that social media invokes physical comparison and their body image insecurity.
- Overuse of internet at unearthly hours has become a cause of eating disorder that impacts their physical and mental health too.
- Cyberbullying is yet another reason for deteriorating mental health among teenagers.
- Parents should check and note early abnormal and violent behavior pattern, and should go for counseling.
- Parents and schools should put emphasis on the augmentation of their social communication skills, problem-solving aptitude skills, confidence building methods will certainly help their mindsets.
- Schools can run a program that determines emotional health status through a questionnaire.
- They should be encouraged to take up some physical hobby, athletics or other vigorous sports.
- WHO (World Health Organization) sees a challenge in health workers, who have a big job to do. They need to be communicative and competent to handle these teenagers, able to detect their mental conditions early. They should be able to provide treatment that includes counseling, mental behavior therapy, and psychotropic medication, if and when necessary.
- If social media is identified as the cause of mental- negativity, then the help of a therapist can be taken to help the teen manage their reliance on harmful social media and disengage from the internet. The therapists recognize self- image distortion thought process and they can advise how to ward off negative thoughts and compulsive behavior.
If your teen’s mental health seems to be deteriorating, reach out to Beachside Teen Treatment Center for more information about how our facility can help your family.