What is Depression? Depression is a mental health disorder that is characterized by a constant mood of loss of interest in activities and causing impairment in your daily life. According to studies, 1 out of 8 teens suffer and are affected by depression. Psychologists believe that depression can predominantly affect girls more than it does boys. However, within the past year, the percentage of teenagers with depression has gone up. There is about 20 percent of teenagers experience depression before their adulthood and about 10-15 percent suffer from depression symptoms. Only about 30% of teens with depression are being treated. Also, about 15.8 percent of teenagers have had suicidal thoughts due to depression. Every 100 minutes a teen takes his or her life. Depression can be caused increased by many factors some of those are a negative self-image, low self-esteem, peer pressure, bullying, and abuse. However, over time, other things have been added to the list of factors that cause depression. Such as school, relationships or friendships, social media, and living conditions. Our generation has more hopelessness and helplessness nowadays there are actions that we can take to help those around us that can have depression.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed, stressed, sad, or anxious while at school? There was a survey that the American Psychological Association did that reported that school was the main cause of why teens feel stressed out. About 61 percent of teens say that they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades. Sometimes getting a low test core can cause someone to feel like a “failure”. In other cases, students get punishments from parents for having low grades therefore that puts constant pressure on them to do good in school. Others say that they feel pressure to look good at school which is more common in females. 90 percent of females that are in high school say they “diet” frequently, 60 percent of females say they compare themselves to other girls at their school or in fashion magazines. Most teenagers try to fit in with others at their school so that they can feel “good enough” however this can lead to effects on their self-esteem. Researchers have come up with the fact that homework causes students to have stress and negative health effects. Having too much homework can result in a lack of sleep, exhaustion, and headaches also can affect social life. Students have said that too much homework has made them feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. Stanford University conducted a study that said 56 percent of students considered homework their main source of stress. Spending too much time on homework limits the actual time that teenagers have to spend with their families or friends. Students get a higher stress level when applying to colleges and trying to get into their ideal college. Getting into a good college is what all high schoolers look forward to especially during their senior year. All the questions that are asked in order to get admitted into college can cause a great amount of stress in students also trying to meet the deadlines that colleges have. Students feel stressed out trying to get into an ideal college just to impress their parents. School is causing a rise in anxiety which can later result in bigger mental health illnesses. School systems place a number on us such as our GPA, test scores, and class rank. However, those numbers should not be what determines how smart we are, or how much we are more likely to succeed and get into a good college. Some of the students that were asked why they had such a high-stress level said it was because of the classes that they were taking such as AP and Honors classes. They said it was because the class was like taking a college course, therefore it causes them to constantly have stress. A student’s sleeping schedule also has a lot to do with their mental health sometimes we stay up working on homework, projects, or studying for an exam. On average a teen should get up to 9 to 9 ¼ of sleep. Sometimes students do not sleep the full time that they are recommended to sleep and end up having sleep deprivation which causes them to feel sleepy or tired in their class that they do not retain any of the information that was given to them in class, which therefore results in low test scores. School can be a huge factor in why there has been a rise in teen depression. However, there are things that can be done to help the school be a stress reliever rather than a stress causer such as breaking things down for yourself, being organized, tutoring, or talking to your school counselor.
Another factor of depression is being or having toxic relationships or friendships. Being in a toxic relationship or friendship is being known for the person having insecurities, abuse of power, controlling, selfishness, negativity, dishonesty, jealousy, and distrust. Being verbally abused with words or being physically abused is something that is often experienced however while being in a toxic relationship many think that it is normal for their partner to act the way they do. Most often teens stay with their partners because they are emotionally attached and connected to them and their partner might be the “only” source of happiness that they receive because they feel lonely, therefore they are afraid of walking out of the relationship. In many cases, sometimes the person is in denial that they are in a toxic relationship even when others are warning them about it. Also, many individuals isolate themselves while they are going through depression which makes others think that you are trying to avoid them. Therefore many have said that they feel rejected by their friends and that their friends stopped inviting them to places. There are types of friendships that can have a negative impact on your mental health. Such as the promise-breaker, the dramatic one, the negative one, the competitor, and the bad influence. Having toxic friendships makes you feel as if you have to do everything to try and please your friend just so that you can stay being a part of the group, you don’t feel like you can be yourself, feeling like a burden to your friends. Sometimes having one bad friendship or relationship can cause you to feel the same about the rest of the relationships you encounter in your life. According to health talk, many individuals have said that they left their partner because they were a lot to put up with and felt like they were becoming dependent on their partners for support. Hanging out with the wrong crowds can lead to a downward spiral of triggering depression or low mood. Being blamed for everything can cause you to feel like a failure or as if you never do anything right. Being in a toxic relationship makes you feel trapped and bad for leaving the person which causes feelings of low self-worth, fear, anxiety, insecurity, and paranoia. “Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you…Your arguments and hateful talks can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you, seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!” a quote by Bryant Mcgill. This quote has helped me realize that you should prioritize your mental health and why positive relationships are important to have a well-balanced life.