ABC6: Teen Depression
Growing up can be tough. With so many demands, pressures, school, friends and relationships - dealing with all of that for teens can lead to depression or suicidal thoughts.
Mental health experts say it is critically important for family members, friends, teachers, counselors and others to be mindful of what is happening in a young person's life and to look for changes in behavior.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, about half of the cases of mental illness begin at the age of 14.
"If you notice your young person withdrawing from family and friends, that can a major red flag that something is going on," Dr. Megan Schabbing, Medical Director of Psychiatric Emergency Services, OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital said.
Another thing that could be pulling at young people, social media, and the microscope that can put teens under.
"Technology can magnify a teen's need to be accepted by peers. With decreased social skills, because teens often rely on social media to connect, they're isolating themselves and preventing themselves from learning critical social skills," Dr. Schabbing told ABC6.
"You have to be aware of what your teen's doing, in terms of social media and online. It's just one more huge layer of the pressures that teens are faced with," said Dr. Schabbing.
The good news for teens, parents, friends, and teachers, there are many places to turn for information.
First, you can reach out to a mental health professional or pediatrician. Getting that help early, especially if there are any worries of the young person harming themselves can be the key to saving a life.
Online, there are sites like healthykids.org that can be a big resource of information for families.
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