Understanding Your Teen: The Connection Between Depression and Addiction
Few things can be as upsetting and frustrating for parents than watching a bright, energetic child transform into a withdrawn, isolated teen. A visible downward spiral in a teen’s mood, energy level and participation effects the entire family. Parents often search for answers within themselves to explain teen depression. They feel they have done something wrong or failed their child in some way. Once such feelings of insecurity and helplessness overtake parents, then they become at risk for depression as well.
You can take control of your teen’s outlook, and alter your household’s direction into a more positive environment in the process. Parents can miss the signs of teen addiction if they blame themselves for a teen’s sad or acerbic turn. However, help for depression can often begin with an evaluation of what role technology plays in your teen’s life.
For the current teen generation, exposure to and usage of technology and digital devices has been part of their lives from the moment they were born and started to be educated. It may appear perfectly normal when teens stay fixated on their cell phones and computer screens, or prefer to engage these devices rather than other people around them. We are so used to teens nowadays texting, video calling, and communicating in social media.
Here are common signs teens need help for addiction:
Do not often hear directions or come when called
Disappear for hours with only a device as company
Express anger and defiance if parents take away devices
Constantly avoid family meals and outings
Wake up tired because of all-night technology use
Reduce or stop most physical activity to sit on technology devices
These bad habits set the stage for all the physical and psychic roots of depression. On a basic level, lack of physical activity and sleep reduces feel-good hormones in the body. Teens could become self-conscious about weight gain at a time their bodies are already changing fast. Furthermore, students fall behind academically when checking social media updates constantly and answering hundreds of text messages per day. Once they fall behind, the pressure to achieve may feel like more than they can bear.
A more complicated situation arises if online porn and sexting drive their connection to social media and digital devices. A teen can become ashamed of their hypersexual appetite and curiosity. They may live with emotional distress about their lack of control or mental anguish over being discovered.
Star Guides Wilderness Therapy understands these behaviors as the sources or symptoms of social, sexual and psychological disorders linked to teen depression. We offer highly specialized assessments as the start of your teen’s help for addiction to activities such as: online pornography, fetishes, cybersex, cyberbullying and compulsive masturbation. In the process of help for depression, we often find multiple diagnoses and co-existing disorders.
Parents may not always seek help for teen addiction because of the sensitive nature of behaviors teens need to address, or difficulty in discussing any underlying traumas. We assure a comfortable, honest atmosphere where teen depression is not treated as a fault. We help teens and their parents understand it is a natural outcome of improper perspectives on technology. Our exciting, adventurous outdoor programs and commitment to building healthy relationships can help you tackle teen addiction today.