Mental Health and Teens

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Mental Health and Teens

By Colton Kersey

One thing not stressed enough to teens is mental health. While there
are plenty of resources for teens to get help, the problem is they
don’t. According to the U.S. Preventative Task Force only 36% to 44%
of children and teens with depression receive treatment. A study by
psychologist Jean Twenge found that individuals reporting symptoms
linked to depression over that past year increased 52% among teens and
63% in young adults. It was also reported that death from suicide
increased 56% among teens 18 – 19. While these statistics are
incredibly sad, it’s important to acknowledge them so that we can make
our best effort to lower them and this starts with you, many teens may
feel depressed but assume that it’s simply stress.

If you  think that you might be depressed here are some symptoms of
depression, so that you can better understand if you may be depressed
and find the help you need. Lack of interest in things once enjoyed;
if hobbies that you once felt were engaging seem uninteresting and
boring, this is a big sign that you might be depressed. Over or under
eating; often people who are depressed will develop these unhealthy
eating habits. Lack of sleep or extended sleep can also be a sign of
depression, as well as consistent feelings of anxiety. Lastly any
thoughts of suicide are serious red flags that should be acted upon.
No one is above asking for help and if you feel like any of the things
listed apply to you, then speak to your parents or your teacher who can
direct you to the help you need.

Your doctor will want to know things like when and how long you’ve had
said symptoms, their severity and if your family has a history of
mental illness. This can be some important information so that the
doctor can make a proper diagnosis. Substance abuse is also a very
important topic to bring up to your doctor. Substance abuse can come
in many forms and should be treated seriously. Often teens with
depression unknowingly use substances to self-medicate in an attempt
to ease the feelings associated with depression. This, however, can be
a slippery slope to addiction and use of life threatening drugs.

Here are some additional resources that can be used to help anyone
with depression.

Lifeline crisis chat (http://www.contact-usa.org/chat.html) offers
immediate chat rooms for those with depression or just needs to talk
its available from 2 pm to 2 am and connects users with trained
specialists.

Reddit subreddit r/getting_over_it
(https://www.reddit.com/r/getting_over_it/) is an online community for
those with depression and those who overcome it. It offers a place to
freely express your thoughts and emotions with those who can
understand.

The national suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-8255) operates 24
hours 7 days a week. If you are considering suicide, please make the
call. The responders are ready to listen and de-escalate.