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Teens and smartphones are inseparable nowadays. With mobile devices offering a multitude of features from socializing to studying, today’s generation is slowly developing the on-the-move addiction.

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understanding link between rising teen depression

Understanding Link Between Rising Teen Depression and Smartphone Use

Understanding Link Between Rising Teen Depression and Smartphone Use

Teens and smartphones are inseparable nowadays. With mobile devices offering a multitude

of features from socializing to studying, today’s generation is slowly developing the on-the-

move addiction. And, like any other addiction, it has got its hazards too. Recent studies have

reported a 33 percent increase in depressive symptoms, such as feeling useless and joyless,

among American teens between 2010 and 2015. Moreover, the number of male adolescents

aged 15-19 who committed suicide grew by 31 percent from 2007 to 2015, while the

corresponding figure for female teens was a whopping 100 percent.

According to a study

published recently in

the journal Clinical

Psychological Science,

“iGen” (those born

after 1995) are more

vulnerable

experience

health problems than

their millennial (born

between 1983 and

2000)

predecessors.

To understand the

cause of this sudden

rise in the incidence of

depressive symptoms

and suicide tendencies among teens, researchers traced back to all possibilities that could

touch the respondents’ lives during the period. They zeroed in on a major development that

almost grew up with the iGen – the sudden evolution of the smartphone.

to

mental

According to Pew Research Center, the number of smartphone owners increased by 50

percent in late 2012. Significantly, teen depression and suicide also started to grow at the

same time, with around 73 percent of adolescents gaining access to a smartphone by 2015.

While smartphone use is linked to depression, the time spent online is likely to cause other

mental health problems. Studies suggest that teens spending five or more hours a day online

have 71 percent higher risk of developing at least one suicidal behavior than adolescents who

are online for one hour a day.

Dangers of digital engagement

Overindulgence in mobile devices can affect a child’s daily activities in many ways. Teens busy

with their smartphones have less time to interact with their friends in person. In the absence

www.sovteens.com

of face to face interactions they are more

of face-to-face interactions, they are more vulnerable to suffer depression and other mood

disorders. Social isolation is considered to be one of the major risk factors for suicide.

Teens spending more time online are also sleeping less. The role of smartphone in causing

depression may also be linked to social media use. A 2016 study, published in the journal

Depression and Anxiety, suggested that the more time users spend on social media, the

higher the risk of depression. It was found that participants who spent most of the days’ time

using social media had 1.7 times higher risk of depression over peers who used social media

for lesser period.

“Because social media has become such an integrated component of human interaction, it is

important for clinicians interacting with young adults to recognize the balance to be struck in

encouraging potential positive use, while redirecting from problematic use,” said Brian

Primack, director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.

Participating in meaningless activities on social media may also trigger a sense of “time

wasted,” thereby affecting the mood adversely. Increased social media use may also lead to

“internet addiction,” a proposed mental health condition closely associated with depression.

Spending more time on social media may also expose to the risk of cyber-bullying or other

negative interactions which can lead to depression.

Road to recovery

It is important to identify early signs of depression, especially in young population, to avoid

associated complications later in life. If you or someone you know is grappling with depression

or any other mental health problem, seeking immediate medical assistance is advisable.

Sovereign Health, one of the prominent mental health facilities for teens, offers evidence-

based treatment to help young people with depression recover faster. Call at our 24/7

helpline number (866) 512-1981 for more information about our programs to treat

depression at our popular teen mental health rehab.

www.sovteens.com