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12 Reasons For Increased Mental Health Issues in Teens
Our mental health comes about from how we think and feel. It determines how we act, handle stress, get along with others, work productively and make choices. When we can’t process our past properly, we can become depressed. When we worry too much about the future, we have anxiety. When we can’t handle not being in control, we can end up with obsessive compulsive disorder.
Here are just some of the reasons why our teens are suffering so much from mental health challenges (in no particular order):
- Their diets are poor – So many parents were controlled in what they were allowed to eat and are therefore more relaxed in what they allow their children to eat. Food manufacturers have become more creative in making money than caring about nutrition. And many of today’s teens are more stubborn about what they will eat.
- Drugs and alcohol are more accessible – When I was a teen, hardly anyone did drugs, never mind had access. There weren’t liquor stores every few blocks. Coolers, loaded with sugar and chemicals didn’t exist. All prescription and non-prescription drugs and alcohol alter our minds and the more we consume, the more brain cells we kill.
- Technology has wreaked havoc – The internet has made everything a “rush” for the adults, who raise these teens, increasing their stress levels at work to epic proportions. Social media makes teens believe others are living so much better lives than they are and contributes to them feeling excluded. And let’s not forget how the radiation from the technology affects us.
- Costs have increased astronomically – These days, it’s extremely difficult for one parent to stay at home while the other works, due to increased costs. Just the cost of gas alone has become astronomical. Financial pressure affects parenting ability – let’s face it. And teens today have a hard time doing without the things they want.
- The removal of Grade 13 and the arrival of the semester system increased pressure – Ever since Grade 13 was abolished, the kids have had to learn the whole curriculum in less time. And the semester system forces them to learn new things every day; they don’t have the time to digest what they have learned the same way we did. This is why so many take a gap year.
- Competition has increased – Due to our aging population, it has become harder for the younger population to get into university programs, enter certain careers (think of those that want to become teachers) and get jobs.
- People are more outspoken in negative ways – These days, people share more of what’s on their minds. Social media, television and movies encourage this. More people are telling others what they think of them. There is road rage. There are mass shootings when someone is unhappy in their life!
- World politics has infiltrated our homes more than ever before – Watching the news on television and the internet has become harmful to our mental health. When we were young, we didn’t know everything going on in the world. And terrorist attacks, bombings, threats of violence have all increased astronomically in North America ever since Sept 11, 2001.
- There are less opportunities to socialize – Gaming has taken up too large a portion of teens’ lives. Chat rooms and group chats prevent teens from socializing outside of their homes. The increased mental health issues in the world have made it less safe for our youth to be playing outside for hours on end, the way we used to.
- They are less active – Many of us walked to and from school each day, even coming home for lunch. We didn’t have cell phones or computers encouraging us to be couch potatoes. Netflix didn’t exist! Playing hockey didn’t cost thousands of dollars, take up our weekends and holidays or have the level of competition that it does now. There are many factors contributing to this!
- Fewer attend church or have faith – Many of us grew up going to church every Sunday. Some of us didn’t like it BUT it was a place where we felt connected, learned how to be the best people we could be and grew our faith. Teens with severe anxiety don’t have faith. If everyone knew we can ask for and receive guidance with every challenge, how much more relaxed would we be?
- The teens of today are different than prior generations – With all these planetary shifts increasing our consciousness, today’s teens are the most aware of any prior generation. Just look at their attentiveness to our environment! They see what’s wrong with our world and many of them don’t even want to bring children into it. They don’t know they are here to improve our world in major ways!
Are you seeing the challenge our youth face? They are literally being prevented from growing up in the embrace of love and innocence. Without a ‘proper childhood’, it is more difficult for them to have the mental strength and self-esteem to cope with this world.
I hope you can see that I am not blaming parents for the prevalence we are seeing in mental health challenges in today’s teens. There are ways that parents can manage the impact the world is having on our teens though. Please watch for my next blog entitled “The 10 Best Mental Health Tips for Teens” to help you accomplish this seemingly monumental task.
Hi! I’m Meredith Deasley. I am The Resourceful Mother. I have connected families to health and happiness since 2002. I work with teens and other family members – on an individual basis and as a group – to help them find health and happiness. I do this through nutrition, life coaching and spiritual expertise. You can learn more about my company and services at www.theresourcefulmother.com.