Depression in young people is a serious reality that has to be addressed immediately. The world of today is very different from even a decade ago. Children are growing up in a period of rapid changes and high expectations for success and acceptance are developed. All of this has a mental cost resulting in anxiety and depression among teenagers. But what can we do to help youngsters deal with depression and lead a healthy life? This article explains some of the approaches that might help.
1. Medical marijuana
Many states in the US as well as a few other countries have passed laws to make marijuana acceptable for medical use. According to medical marijuana doctors these products are easily available on the prescription and offer relief from anxiety without any intoxication. Over time as the positive effects of medical marijuana become more widespread, its accessibility is likely to become easier, making it possible for young people as well as elders to receive profound assistance to get relief from depression.
2. Regular exercise
For many reasons, including safety and the increased use of social media, few youngsters are getting the physical exercise than in the past. This deprives them of opportunities to develop a healthy body, but also form friendships that are necessary for mental wellbeing. To help young people lead a healthy life, we need to provide them with ways to incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyle. This can include ensuring that parks and playgrounds remain functional. Schools should also provide regular opportunities like hiking, trekking and camping trips outdoors.
3. Regular conversations
If more young people are feeling depressed today, then as adults we have to assume responsibility for it. Initiating a conversation is the first thing that a medical marijuana doctor does before writing a prescription. Think about how much time we spend talking to our kids about their friends, stuff they watch on YouTube or things bothering them at school. A lot of young people experience depression because of things like bullying, a health issue or peer pressure. But they choose to suffer in silence because they have nobody to talk to. Having a least half an hour every day for undistracted conversations with your children can help you address any symptoms or causes of depression earlier on.
4. Healthy diet
A good diet is critical to having a healthy mind. The use of processed foods and artificial ingredients in modern diets has wreaked havoc on the physical and mental health of young people. Parents should ensure that children enjoy a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables while minimizing sugary, processed foods. They should also ensure that children have regular times for the important meals of the day, especially breakfast.
While many of us assume that youngsters need loads of physical activity to release their energy, it is equally true that they need some quiet time as well. This is more true nowadays because young people seem to be surrounded by social media, bad news, and other types of noise. Meditation, yoga and other concentration exercises can help them to acquire a calm mind and reflect on the things happening in their lives. Such exercises are known to have a positive effect on the wellbeing of young people.
It is surprising that many young people lack a hobby that they pursue regularly. Most young people seem to be obsessed with Instagram, competing for grades or hustling to become a teen millionaire. Very few develop a lifelong passion for things like learning a language, woodwork, painting or gardening. These activities have great recreational value as they help young people build character and learn skills that can help them later in life. They also help to release stress, develop responsibility and enjoy being with themselves. Such hobbies can help to prevent depression that is caused by loneliness or lack of opportunities to travel.
7. Family issues
More often than we realize, things happening in the family can be a cause of depression in young adults. No matter how much we try to hide them, young people are affected when their parents fight, when there’s violence in the house, when a loved one dies, or when there are financial problems. It’s important to discuss these matters with youngsters and hear their views so that they do not worry unnecessarily by exaggerating these problems.
8. Use social media sparingly
Social media is unavoidable especially for young people. After all, this is where they interact with friends and get their news from. But too much of it is bad for their self-esteem and they have unrestricted control over it. As adults, we need to help them use social media in a responsible way. Not only does social media consume time that could be spent on healthier activities. It also facilitates unwanted peer comparisons, giving rise of low self-esteem and envying others who seem to be having more fun than them.
6. Seek counselling
Thankfully, seeking psychological counselling or therapy is no longer a taboo is society. People are opening up to the benefits this can have, especially for young people with depression. All major hospitals offer mental health support where you can get therapy as well as prescribed medication. It is important to be as open as possible with your child and demonstrate your support for these sessions. Regular counselling is a long-term approach and you need to be committed to see your child benefit from it.
Depression in youngsters is a serious issue with lifelong consequences. Thankfully, more parents, doctors and educators are waking up to this fact and are finding ways to help young people lead a healthy life. This article offered some practical measures that can help young people manage their depression and cope with it easily. However, family support is essential at each step of the way. As society develops more awareness and resources to make mental health accessible to all segments of the population, it is possible to expect a positive and hopeful future for young people.