TMS Towson Experts Discuss Why an Increasing Number of Students Are Developing Depression
Even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of middle school, high school, and college students had begun to grapple with depression and anxiety. While some people like to blame smartphones and the internet for an increase in depression rates among students, the issue often digs much deeper than that. Everything from the prevalence of unhealthy fast food to increased pressure to excel past their peers to feelings of uncertainty toward the future could be behind this issue.
That’s why TMS Towson experts — the Psych Associates of Maryland — is breaking down the causes and risk factors for depression in students today.
Depression is a serious mental health condition that is different from the normal feelings of sadness that everyone experiences once in a while. This mental health disorder often interferes with a person’s ability to perform basic activities such as eating or completing their homework. It is typically characterized by persistent anxiety or feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, rebellious behavior, or withdrawing from loved ones.
Recent research studies from the Pew Research Center have found alarming trends regarding teen depression. For instance:
Teenagers with depression may show different symptoms than adults. For instance, adolescents might act more moody and irritable. Or they could begin to isolate themselves from the adults in their lives. Symptoms can also vary according to gender. Females typically report feelings of worthlessness and guilt while males often struggle with irritability and suicidal thoughts.
There are numerous possibilities behind why there is an increase in depression among youth today. Many experts argue that there are some common themes they have found in their research indicate that:
Let’s explore each of these factors in detail.
When it comes to social media, most people only post the highlights of their lives. People are more likely to post images of themselves out at the bars with friends when they are having the time of their lives than when they are alone and feeling down.
However, not everyone remembers this. Instead, they sometimes begin comparing themselves to other while worrying about being left out by their friends. People who let themselves become too engrossed in these social media posts can experience a decline in their mental health. That’s why it is important to take a step back from social media once in a while and to also remember that not everyone you see on social media is a completely accurate representation of another person’s life.
Not only are today’s adolescents living in a post-9/11 world, but they are also currently dealing with a pandemic that most people have not dealt with either. Dealing with an uncertain future while also adjusting to changes in their educational structure and manner of living can be quite difficult. Most children and teens understand that, even when they do return to the classroom, things will be much more different and dangerous for them.
Many teenagers nowadays are dealing with high rates of burnout. As college admissions grow more competitive and an increasing number of child prodigies seem to appear everywhere, it can be difficult for your child to avoid comparing themselves with these seemingly flawless students. As a result, children and teens may end up over-exerting themselves in an effort to remain competitive with their peers. But this can take a serious toll on both their sleeping patterns and their mental health.
A number of other risk factors can increase a child’s risk of developing depression, such as:
Most teenagers undergo mental health counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy to treat their depression. Some physicians also prescribe medication, such as Prozac or Lexapro to their young patients. However, these medications may end up worsening your child’s symptoms of depression. That’s why treatment plans are not a one-size-fits-all program and you must take your child to their primary care physician, who will help formulate a treatment plan catered to their unique issues.
Learning how to manage depression is challenging for anyone, regardless of their age. If you notice one of your students showing symptoms of depression or you know that one of your children recently experienced a traumatic event, it is important to find the proper treatment plan and TMS Towson expert for them. The Psych Associates of Maryland is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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