The Silent Killer

Staff Writer: Arie Mitchell

Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in the depression among teens. There could be many different roots leading to this problem. Some of the main factors in teenage depression are pressure from parents, pressure from school, and pressure from society. Depression among teens has been at a steady decrease until 2012 to 2013 where it has been on the rise.

About 20 percent of all teens suffer from depression, with only 30 percent of them being treated for it. Although treatment can be helpful, it does not always make the situation better. In some cases, it has made the person feel worse.

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Antidepressants can cause a number of harmful side effect that could take the person to a worse place than when they started.

Teens with untreated mental or substance-abuse problems are at higher risk to develop depression. Approximately two-thirds of teens with major depression also battle another mood disorder like dysthymia, anxiety, antisocial behaviors, or substance abuse. Every 100 minutes, a teen takes their life.

As most of us have probably experienced, parents want the best for their kids. They want their children to succeed and do better than they did so they push us to do so. So often, parents get a little carried away with their pushing and it often turns into shoving. They get so focused on school performance. They act like they only care about what their son’s or daughter’s grades are looking like and how much time and effort they put into school, rather than checking up on their teen’s mental health.

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Parents often discipline their kids for not having good grades rather than finding out what the real reason is for their grades being low.

Parents often discipline their kids for not having Good grades rather than finding out what the real reason is for their grades being low.

Betty Hoang, a 17 year old who goes Wichita Southeast High School, says, “Honestly I feel like we all saw it coming. Like we knew it was going to increase to an extent. Bc like each year the standards get higher and higher for the way you act, look, eat, just everything really…and it’s not even just teenaged it little kids as young as 7. A lot of that has to do with things like mothers entering their kids in beauty pageants.”

Now, if a person has done well in school for most of their life, the constant surveillance of their parents could lead them in one of two directions. The positive reassurance and feedback will give the person enough motive to keep doing well in what they are doing, or the constant pressure could lead the teen into feeling like they cannot do anything else with their time. They may feel as though if they did anything else that would not help their academic future, their parents would become disappointed or less interested in them.

Branson Cox, a Woodstock Highschool senior says, “The amount of stress put on them by society and stuff. Like the amount of pressure on teens in school now compared to back then and the economy and [stuff is really messed up].”

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Teens suffer from lack of self confidence which leads them to feeling inadequate.

The amount of work that schools give students is also a prevalent matter to the ride of depression. The average high school student has seven classes. On most nights, five of seven of those classes give homework for the student to do. On average, homework can take three to four hours to do. That would not be a problem if we high school students did not have jobs as well. Most of us don’t leave work until 9 or 10 o’clock (sometimes later depending on if you’re working a closing shift). On top of all this work we are still expected to get eight hours of sleep. Just to be clear there are still only 24 hours in a day, right?! It has been found that high schoolers suffer from the same anxiety mental asylum patients did back in the 1900s.

Another reason a parent may not be able to understand why kids are acting like it’s so much harder to maintain our workload is because it is! The prices have gone up on everything since they were young, especially on schools. College tuition is increasing at a rate 8 times faster than wages are!

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Students are often homeless so they can afford top pay for the things they need in college.

Societal pressure may be leading cause in why teens are depressed. The constant feeling of inadequacy and pressure to fit in is all adding fuel to the fire. Females are twice as likely to develop depression than males are. This could be the result of years of being told they’re not pretty enough, or not to act a certain way because a man would not find them as appealing if they did so. No one ever wants to be an outcast or feel unwanted. So, we may go to extreme lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen. The stress of this is what causes depression.

Yes, depression is taking teens by storm, but some who claim to have it may just be doing it for attention. Addison Elliot, a Woodstock High School senior, says, “Honestly, I think that a lot of kids say they’re depressed but truly aren’t. I think they aestheticize the thought of being depressed, but for kids who are, I think it comes a lot from family issues or people being mean to them.” In agreeance with Addison, some people say do it just to be more relatable. If you or anyone you know has done this, it is not something to joke about. It’s something that is delicate and hard to deal with.

Depression can also be caused just by someone who you live with having it. It is also known to be hereditary. When asked about how he would respond to his kids having depression, Jerome Culp said though text that he would say, “That’s tuff (tough) Sike naw *laughing emoji* [I’m going to] ask him about what [he or she is depressed about].”

Cade Peppin, a junior attending River Ridge High School, gave his opinion from a very personal, and graphic, standpoint. “[I have not] been happy [because] alotta these (expletive) aint (expletive) and they fake as (expletive) and play with (expletive) hearts. (Expletive) im still (expletive) up from dat.. but yeah… heartbreaks…uhhh… they think they not good enough… and yeah…(sic)”

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Relationships can put a large dip in anyone’s self confidence. Photo credit:

Depression is a serious issue that takes many lives daily. It is up to us to make changes and make a better life for future generations.

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