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Over the past few years, depression among teens has risen dramatically. It wasn’t until the 1980s that clinical psychologists started believing an adolescent’s mind was developed enough to even feel depressed at all. Today, we’ve come a long way towards understanding the mind of a child or teenager, but much more can be done. After years of research, doctors have started advising people suffering from depression to take medication and other products such as weed and CBD, weed in Canada is legal which makes it easy and accessible but make sure to consult your doctor before taking any such products for your depression.
Part of the reason depression among teens has skyrocketed is because bullying is playing a major role in the social landscape of education. Many teens are being bullied across schools around the country, and those issues aren’t being properly addressed.
What’s more is that bullying doesn’t just affect a teen in their current state. Bullying can have lifelong effects. According to a study published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal, children who are bullied in early childhood are much more likely to develop depressive and psychiatric disorders in their teens, and well into adulthood. Whether we realize it or not, the role of bullying plays a major factor in the rise of teen depression today.
Bullying Today: The Numbers
Another study published by the Lancet Psychiatry Journal found that children who are bullied by peers were more likely to have significant health issues as adults than those who were mistreated by their caregivers or parents.
Dieter Wolke, Ph.D., the psychology professor behind the study, said simply, “Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up; it has serious long-term consequences.”
Several studies and statistics demonstrate just how serious bullying is in institutions across America. The majority of bullying starts in middle school, with verbal and social bullying taking the lead among types of bullying. Roughly 28% of students between grades 6 and 12 experience bullying. In surveys, 30% admitted to bullying others. In another study, nearly 50% of students in grades 4 through 12 admitted to being bullied at least once in the past month.
Bullying in the Media
With the previous statistics in mind, you can better understand how common bullying can be. However, there are a handful of cases that have been popularized by the media.
Canadian high schooler Amanda Todd released a YouTube video that described how years prior she was bullied into showing another student her breasts. After her tell-all Youtube video, published to shed light on bullying and the consequential suicidal thoughts, the same bully opened up Facebook accounts with her revealing photo. This led to further bullying from other students. Eventually, a handful of bullies physically beat her and left her lying in a ditch. Todd eventually took her own life.
Amanda Green, another 14 year-old student from Indiana, hung herself from a tree in front of her school bus stop. Green wanted other students to see how their relentless bullying—which occurred after her father was sent to jail for hitting her—affected her deeply. She left behind a note that explicitly stated that bullying caused her to take her own life.
These bullying stories have harsh, cruel endings, and it’s a tough pill to swallow. However, it’s important to recognize the severe consequences of bullying in order to properly address them and get the necessary teen depression treatment. After all, studies have shown that there is a stark disconnect between a child’s view of bullying and what an adult sees. Many adults aren’t sure how to respond. The more aware you are about what’s happening in the world today, the less ignorant you’ll be to some of the signs your teen might be displaying.
Signs Your Teen Is Being Bullied
It’s difficult for parent to separate “acting” out” teen behavior from a depressed teen that’s suffering from school bullying. However, by educating yourself on what to look out for, you can ensure that your child doesn’t become a victim. Not all children exhibit clear warning signs, so it’s important pay attention to the subtle signs, too.
First and foremost, changes in ordinary habits are early signs. For example, perhaps they aren’t as active as they used to be, or haven’t been engaging in their usual hobbies. Changes in eating habits are indicators, too. They may not be eating as much, or come home hungrier than usual because they’re skipping out on lunch. Here are some other signs you should look out for:
- Injuries that cannot be explained
- Lost items, like textbooks, jewelry, and other personal items
- Difficulty sleeping at night
- Excuses for not going to school
- Decreased sense of self-esteem
- Decline in grades
- Less social behavior and loss of friends
- Frequent headaches
- Increased desire to be alone
Then, there’s self-destructive behavior, which is much clearer to see. If you notice your kid self-harming, talking about self-harming or suicide, running away from home, or drinking alcohol or doing drugs, don’t take it as an idle threat. You should seek help immediately.