Let's Talk Teens, Addictions and Mental Health
Elaborating on the previous article, I thought I would highlight some of the main causes for depression and anxiety with teens. Many parents come into my office asking what’s causing teenager stress and depression? What’s causing depression and anxiety in my teenager? What does generalized anxiety disorder in children and teens look like?
Some of the main causes for depression and anxiety with teens
Social Media and Cyberbullying: Without a doubt, some of the largest contributing factors are social media and cyber bullying. The rise of social media has profoundly impacted teenagers’ lives. The constant comparison with others, cyber bullying, and the fear of missing out can trigger feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and depression. Additionally, with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, and personalized algorithms, teenagers are exposed to more content that they spend more time paying attention to. The teenagers already struggling with self harm are then flooded with more information on self-harm, including how to videos (and as the old saying goes in psychology, we get more of what we focus on).
Academic Pressure: another very common and very large cause of anxiety and depression for teenagers is academic pressure. Many teens feel that they need incredibly high marks to pursue higher education, and that without those marks, many of the doors towards a comfortable future are being closed. I have had many teens come into my office and explained to me that they feel like they cannot achieve the goals that they want to in life simply because 80% in math is not high enough to get into the University program that they would like to get into. Many teenagers report feeling like they have already failed before they’ve even begun.
Strained Relationships with Family: Another large cause of anxiety and depression for teenagers, includes turmoil within the family unit, such as family dysfunction, parental divorce, frequent conflicts, or emotional neglect. Like all life on the planet, we thrive when the environment is stable, and provides for our basic needs. When teenagers feel connected to at least one adult in their life, their chances of success already increase exponentially. Securely attached relationships are the most important factors for mental well-being, increased self-esteem, higher level of confidence, and positive outcomes.
There are many factors that can cause anxiety and depression in teenagers. Some factors are internal whereas some factors are external. It is important that each client’s background is fully understood, to understand the impact of external and internal factors, as well as areas of support and areas that need addressing for a fully positive and beneficial outcome.
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