Sunday, January 15, 2012

Teenage Depression

Dr. Archibald Hart predicts that 100 per cent of teenagers will be on anti-depressants in ten years. He said that 30 years ago, when he became a clinical psychologist, the onset of depression in people who were going to battle with depression began around 45 years old. Today, the average onset is 14 years old and one in four teenagers are depressed! 

He attributes this sky rocketing cause of depression to STRESS. Stress causes your body to pump out excess amounts of cortisol which shrinks the ability of the brain to learn. It also causes an inability to sleep which is vital for good health. It will then lead to irritability. It also blocks the part of your brain that allows one to feel a sense of  peace. When they no longer have the ability to feel peace or to learn, they fall into deep depression.

When they sink into depression, they are usually put on antidepressants or other drugs in hopes of lowering cortisol levels in their bodies so they can start learning and feeling a sense of peace again. The problem with drugs is they often don't work and exasperate the problem. The side effects can be devastating.

No, I am not a doctor or psychologists, but common sense tells me our children are TOO busy! TOO much is expected from them. I never had to study in high school. I didn't study one minute for the SAT tests. College didn't cost an arm and a leg. Sports didn't control us. We had free time to relax and enjoy life.

My advice is to SLOW DOWN! Monitor your children's activities. Make sure they work hard and do everything to the best of their abilities, but let them have down time to relax ~ reading, playing games, enjoying outdoors, not hours of television and computer time.

I would also make sure their diet is healthy with good fats, healthy proteins, lots of organic fruits and vegetables, and fish oils which are crucial for a healthy brain. They need fresh air and sunshine. They need a good eight to ten hours of sleep a night, not five hours of homework. They need exercise.

Be armed with truth and ready for the battle. Don't let your children become a statistic!

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. 
Hosea 4:6