Bullying Prevention Month: Teens Encouraged to Fight Bullying for Better Mental Health
Can the right words help us heal issues, together, as a group? The impersonal styles of communication we have developed, thanks to advances in technology and new social media platforms, can often produce arguments, opinions, and hurtful comments all too easily. “People say things that are inappropriate, and they feel comfortable doing it because that buffer is present,” a psychology major told Brigham Young’s school newspaper recently. “Cyber-bullying comes because of this. People feel like they can voice their opinions freely without regard for what the reader could be feeling or how they could be interpreting the message.” A new public campaign urges teens and adolescents to get involved and stomp out bullying at their schools with real, personal interactions, and positive social activities.
Depressed Teens Share on Social Media: “Mental Illness Feels Like…”
Some parents may be right to worry about the way smartphones have taken over the lives of our teens and adolescents. Is Social Media creating an antisocial generation? A recent study by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda found most American teens and adolescents spend as much as 75 percent of their time awake with their eyes fixed on a small screen. The survey also discovered that when teens disconnected from their electronic devices for just one 24-hour period, they tended to feel extremely lonely and didn’t know how to fill their time. Fortunately, National Depression Awareness Month brings disengaged teens all over the country a unique ironic opportunity: Now, the same technology that isolates so many of our young people can connect and empower them.
What’s Normal? What Isn’t? Talking About Mental Health With Teens
What does ‘normal’ really mean? Due to the hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty, teenagers are famous for being moody, difficult creatures. So at times it can be hard to tell the difference between “normal teenage behavior” and the symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or other mental disorders. Teens may seem irritable or be quick to anger as they begin to separate from the family. That’s why these years aren’t easy for parents of adolescents and teens either. Worried that your teen might be taking it to another level? It’s always a good idea to know the early warning signs of mental disorders, but it really helps to know how to talk about them with teens. When all else fails, you may have to just ask them what they think.
Can You Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer? Science Promises Exciting New Possibilities for Mental Health
Can you really rewire your brain? Startling scientific discoveries give new hope for adolescents and teens that struggle with anxiety, bipolar disorder, behavior disorders, OCD, and other mental health issues. Recent research projects on the plasticity of the brain, show it can be much more resilient than previously thought. These studies also confirm the ability to successfully modify behavior with techniques like Cognitive Behavior Therapy. To demonstrate the adaptability of brain plasticity, a behavioral scientist offers an experiment you can try at home: Retrain your brain with his four basic steps.
Adolescent and Teen Mental Disorders: What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
Does ‘No’ seem to be your child’s favorite word? Have you ever secretly thought your kid might be evil? Do you ever wonder if an exorcist might offer more help than a psychologist? If the answer to these three questions is yes, your teen or adolescent may be demonstrating the symptoms of ODD, or Opposition Defiant Disorder. Sure, from time to time, even well behaved adolescents and teens can be highly uncooperative or hostile, especially adolescents. But kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder consistently act out patterns of anger and aggression. The good news, is that with effective treatment, you can help your rebellious child become a resilient teen.
Having Trouble Talking to Your Troubled Teen?
“Don’t worry about it,” you might say to your anxious adolescent or teen. “It’s going to be OK,” you want to tell them. But they know better. It will not be OK. Your words may only confirm their worst fears, and they feel trapped inside a world they cannot control. You hate to see your child upset, and you want to help, but saying the wrong thing to a teen with an anxiety disorder can actually make them feel worse.
Does My Teen Have a Mental Health Disorder? Know the Signs
Worried about your teen or adolescent? Think they might be facing a serious mental health issue? Just putting a name on it, or knowing more, can make a mental or behavior disorder seem less overwhelming. Kids can suffer from the same kinds of mental health problems that plague adults, but their symptoms may be quite different. Depending on their ages, young people may not always be able to adequately articulate their feelings. Knowing the signs, and what to watch out for, could make it much easier to get them the help they need. During Mental Health Awareness Week, NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, offers information, tips, toolkits, and more for concerned parents.
Studies Show Why Eating Disorders Among Young Teens Are Greater at Some Schools
Peer pressure has always played an important role in the way teens see themselves. Recent studies confirm the idea that the desire to fit in could also be a major factor in the development of anorexia and other eating disorders among teens and adolescent girls. The survey also shows that in schools with more girls than boys, eating disorders among teens are more prevalent. J. Kevin Thompson, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, found girls are nearly 10 times more likely to develop these behavior disorders than boys, and girls from well-educated families seem to be more susceptible. Do schools for the “best and brightest” promote a dangerous form of perfectionism?
Teen Mental Health Crisis: Why Kids Cut Themselves?
When she discovered her 15-year-old daughter was cutting herself, it was a total shock. After she discovered how common this type of behavior was, she decided to write about it. An anonymous mother tells how she discovered that self-harming behavior is a secret epidemic among our young. “They’ll grow out of it,” another mother tells her, as if the problem will just go away somehow if no one speaks about this unsettling issue. But parents and teens did come forward and help this concerned mother tell their heartbreaking stories. The article, published in the UK’s Guardian, asks the question, if your child does this, how do you help them move forward to recovery and resilience?
Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Teenagers to Have Mental Disorders? The Reverse Can Be True
“Just let me finish this text,” your teen might say. Maybe they plead for a few more minutes with a favorite video game or movie. For many parents, every weeknight brings a battle they struggle to win, and the enemy is often an electronic device. Thanks to smart phones, the Internet, movies, video games, and personal computers, kids are exposed to a nearly unlimited wealth of content. They also have the opportunity to connect with their friends at all hours, and this nocturnal online activity can keep them from getting the proper amount of rest. Research shows that almost 70 percent of all U.S. teens aren’t getting enough sleep. Is this national sleep shortage contributing to a rise in mental health problems among our adolescents and teenagers?