A new study has found that there has been a significant increase in 13 to 19 year olds that believe they are suffering from depression.
Since these findings have surfaced there has been widespread concern that we have a crisis on our hands.
The report - Taking Sleep Seriously: Sleep and our Mental Health – 27% of the teenagers who were in this survey had felt anxious, on edge and nervous based on the feelings for the previous fortnight. A whopping 32% of them over the same period also had trouble with sleep.
Over the same period of time, 26% of teens had trouble concentrating. What was even more concerning was the things they were having problems concentrating on were reading and school work.
Now, we’re not experts, but you could catagorise this as symptoms of anxiety and depression.
But, we must stress that just because someone has these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this will be the diagnosis according to the researchers.
With the amount of time teenagers are spending online now, they are constantly bombarded with different ads, and content they searched for originally. The way social media algorithms work is.
If you search for a particular topic on Google or YouTube, then you will likely be shown several ads on that topic. That’s because they want to show you more of what you searched for. Also, they will show you a lot more video content on YouTube.
So, in the space of a few minutes you can be swamped with a variety of different videos and ads selling products to help alleviate whatever problem you have or searched for.
Covid has also got to be THE most talked about subject on social media at the moment. Everywhere you turn and nearly everything you read has some sort of bearing on Covid.
You really can’t escape it. Even if you’re not online, you’ll likely hear others talking about it.
The survey took place in late summer with 10 per cent admitting that they felt that their mental health has been pretty poor since the lockdown. After being questioned for a second time, 16% of those within the study described their mental health as “poor”.
This really doesn’t bode well for our young children, and should really ring a warning bell to our health professionals.
Catherine Seymour, Head of Research at the Mental Health Foundation which conducted the research with Swansea University. Also, said that “These findings are a warning about how painful many young people’s lives have become during the pandemic.”
“We gathered the findings before the recent school closures – and fear that when we next ask teenagers about their experiences, they will be feeling even worse.
Young people have told us that they often feel afraid, sad or bad about themselves – and so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a rise in the number who say their own mental health is ‘poor’.
“Our concern is that the longer the pandemic goes on, the more embedded these problems can become,” she said.
Teenagers with unemployed parents appear to be at especially high risk of having symptoms of anxiety and depression, compared with those whose parents work full-time. For instance, they are more than twice as likely to feel ‘afraid, as if something awful might happen’ and ‘down, depressed, irritable or hopeless’.
Recognising The Signs
* You may detect a change in their mood, such as an increase in ongoing irritability, rage, constant conflicts and also the feeling of hopelessness.
* Drastic changes in behaviour such as major breakups with a partner or even little interest in talking on the phone or texting.
* A loss of interest inactivities they used to love. Especially when it comes to things like music or sports.
* Struggling to stay awake and always feeling tired.
* Sometimes they struggle with either getting to sleep or staying asleep.
* A dramatic increase in weight and a change in eating habits. Oftentimes they don’t feel that hungry.
* Problems concentrating and with general thinking and memory.
* Zero interest in school or schoolwork and conversely a drop in overall effort.
* A change in appearance and also a drop in personal hygiene.
* An increase in reckless behaviour and taking risks when there’s no need.
* To the extreme, they talk about death and suicide. If this last point is the case, then we suggest seeking further help on this matter.
The research is published by the Mental Health Foundation to coincide with the first weekday after the clocks go back and reports on two YouGov surveys, of 4437 UK adults and 2412 GB teenagers carried out in March 2020.