Social media has become a prominent part of our lives, especially for teenagers and young adults. Without thinking about the impact of social media on our lives, we have become addicted to looking at our screens. Rather than talking to someone face-to-face, we prefer more to hide behind a screen and interact through social media.
Today, the youth miss out on various social interactive events as they spend the majority of their day in front of the screen, interacting with their friends via Facebook, Instagram, snap chat etc. They create a world of their own where they think that the social comparisons matter the most and cyberbullying is no crime. Social media influence the way they perceive themselves and the world. Sometimes, this could drastically change their life either in a negative or a positive way.
According to a study, it was found that there is an increase in the major depressive cases from around 8.5 % in 2005 to about 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8 percent to 9.6 percent in young adults. Looking at the statistics, it is clear that depression is increasing among teenagers and it needs to be addressed immediately. Listed below are the warning signs of depression that you should look out for in your children:
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent Sadness
- Loss of interest in mundane activities
- Anxiety and irritable mood
- Loss of appetite
- Weight Loss or weight gain
- Sleeping difficult including insomnia or hypersomnia
- Feelings of isolation
- Eating disorders
- Difficult in concentration and making decisions
- Sense of insecurity
- Feeling of worthlessness and guilt
- Reckless behaviour
- Pessimistic thoughts about almost everything
- Poor academic or work performance
- Hopelessness and Helplessness, leading to suicidal thoughts
In most cases, teenagers never come seeking help from their parents but they do need love, support and guidance in such situations. It is the duty of a parent to look out for the signs and determine if their child is suffering from any mental health problems. It is okay if they are, mental problems can easily be controlled if diagnosed early. Here are some things you can do to support your child overcome depression:
Ask teens questions regarding social media
Do not go barging in their lives and ban them from using all social media. This would never help, in fact, it could worsen the situation and your child might drift further apart. Instead, talk to them about the positive and the negative impact of social media on their lives; make it a discussion, not a lesson. Ask them what apps they use and are important to them. Guide them how they can handle a difficult situation and make social media a positive experience rather than a negative one.
Communication is Key
Share your social media experience with your teens as sharing your own experiences will help them to open up about their problems. They will feel more comfortable sharing their own stories, once they know that their parents have gone through the same things that they are going through now. Have you been cyberbullied? Have you ever come across a fake profile? All this information will help your teen get congenial with you. It will help them better understand social media and help them expand their experiences.
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