One in four teenage girls are depressed, by their own accounts 


One in four teenage girls believe they are suffering from depression, according to a major study by University College London.

The research which tracked more than 10,000 teenagers found widespread emotional problems among today’s youth, with misery, loneliness and self-hate rife.

Charities said girls were facing a huge range of pressures, fuelled by social media, with parents far likely to detect problems in their sons, where levels of unhappiness were lower.

In total, 24 per cent of 14-year-old girls reported high levels of depressive symptoms.

When parents were asked about their daughters, just 18 per cent described such signs.

Suicidal Thoughts common for transgender youth

Researchers examined survey data from more than 900,000 high school students in California. They found that 35 percent of transgender youth said they'd had suicidal thoughts in the past year, compared with 19 percent of non-transgender youth.

Increased rates of depression and victimization among transgender youth partly explain their higher risk of suicidal thoughts, the researchers said.

Untreated depression has been identified as the leading cause of suicide

  • Approximately 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Between 10 to 15 percent of teenagers have some symptoms of depression at any one time.
  • Depression increases a teen’s risk for attempting suicide by 12 times.
  • 30 percent of teens with depression also develop a substance abuse problem.
  • Depressed teens usually have a smaller social circle and take advantage of fewer career and educational opportunities.
  • Depressed teens are more likely to have trouble at school and in jobs, and to struggle with relationships.

Music therapy reduces depression in children & adolescents with behavioral & emotional problems

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional problems.

In the largest ever study of its kind, the researchers in partnership with the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust, found that children who received music therapy had significantly improved self-esteem and significantly reduced depression compared with those who received treatment without music therapy.

The study, which was funded by the Big Lottery fund, also found that those who received music therapy had improved communicative and interactive skills, compared to those who received usual care options alone.

251 children and young people were involved in the study which took place between March 2011 and May 2014. They were divided into two groups -- 128 underwent the usual care options, while 123 were assigned to music therapy in addition to usual care. All were being treated for emotional, developmental or behavioral problems. Early findings suggest that the benefits are sustained in the long term.

Using Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression & Anxiety Risk

Research has suggested a link between spending extended time on social media and experiencing negative mental health outcomes. New evidence suggests that whether it’s distracted attention from using multiple social media outlets or the emotional consequences of a negative online experience, it’s the quality—not so much the quantity—of social media engagement that may affect mood and well-being.

A study published online in Computers in Human Behavior on December 10, 2016, found that the use of multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults than time spent online.

These findings come from a national survey of 1,787 young adults that asked about their use of 11 popular social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and LinkedIn.

Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing, according to a recent survey of almost 1,500 teens and young adults. While the photo-based platform got points for self-expression and self-identity, it was also associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, or the “fear of missing out.”

Heavy video gaming in teens could point to depression, if it’s always playing alone

Teens who play video games for more than four hours might suffer from depression — but socialising can ward off the danger, according to a new study.

Heavy gaming, particularly in boys, might raise a few warning signs. However, not everyone who plays extensively every day risks developing gaming addiction. The negative effects of heavy gaming can be mitigated by socially engaging with friends either online or in real life while playing. High-quality friendships may even make teens immune from depression symptoms associated with heavy video game use, the researchers report.

The team says the results, though based on data from the Netherlands, are likely indicative for other developed countries such as the US as well. Internet Gaming Disorder has been proposed for further study in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5. Still, it’s not yet clear how to distinguish engaged gamers, who show few symptoms of addiction and depression, from problematic gamers, who lose control over gaming.

The full paper “Video gaming in a hyperconnected world: A cross-sectional study of heavy gaming, problematic gaming symptoms, and online socializing in adolescents” has been published in the journal Computers and Human Behavior.

Teenage Mental Health Crisis: Rates of Depression have soared in past 25 years

Rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years. The number of children and young people turning up in A&E with a psychiatric condition has more than doubled since 2009 and, in the past three years, hospital admissions for teenagers with eating disorders have also almost doubled. In a 2016 survey for Parent Zone, 93 per cent of teachers reported seeing increased rates of mental illness among children and teenagers and 90 per cent thought the issues were getting more severe, with 62 per cent dealing with a pupil's mental-health problem at least once a month and an additional 20 per cent doing so on a weekly or even daily basis.

For parents and teachers this is a difficult thing to confront: an epidemic of young people at odds with the world around them is hardly a positive reflection of the society we've created for them. When young people's mental health is discussed, there tends to be a lot of hand-wringing about the lack of early help and the long waiting times for clinical support – which is fair enough, because until the Government announced new funding last month, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) received less than 0.6 per cent of the total NHS budget. But perhaps the more interesting question is why is there a crisis in the first place?

The Role of Brands: Youth Depression

Brands rely on people. They directly connect with them through marketing, aiming to build lasting relationships. So surely they have an ethical responsibility to ensure that they are caring for their customers’ physical and emotional health. And like many brands that are embracing a more purpose-focused approach, doing it the right way can actually support and drive their marketing strategies. But where do they start?

The key to a meaningful and genuine brand attitude to mental health (and not getting it wrong) is taking guidance from the experts. Beyonce’s partnership with Topshop to create active wear brand Ivy Park saw her consult with Mind, one of the leading mental health charities in the UK. Collaboratively, they wanted to ensure Ivy Park active wear appealed to those women who wanted to start exercising but were perhaps too nervous or anxious. Exercise is one of the leading ways to boost your mental health, not just your physical wellbeing, and it was great to see Ivy Park taking this seriously and using their brand as a tool to empower women.

Boots adopted a similar approach by commissioning its Me, My Selfie and I study, which “revealed the views, thoughts and feelings of 1,000 teens and pre-teens from across the nation”. Developed in conjunction with renowned clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, a specialist in child and adolescent mental health, it provided an interesting insight into the wellbeing of 11 to 17-year-olds. It also offered valuable insight on how to market to teenagers, and while Boots must have had sales in mind when commissioning the research, the level of investment and depth of the study showed a genuine ethical sense of responsibility from the brand to get it right.

It was also great to see Persil promoting children’s wellbeing with its ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign, working in conjunction with The Wild Network. The charity was formed following a National Trust report, Natural Childhood, which found that children’s declining relationship with the outdoors (due to the rise of technology and poverty) was having a significant impact on their mental and physical health. This is termed Nature Deficit Disorder, which Persil’s campaign aimed to combat.