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Teen years are full of intense feelings and edgy emotions with heartaches and stressing over things which seem quite insignificant to an adult. Not far in the past, people believed teenagers could not be depressed or unhappy as they were too young to realize the true problems of life. But according to the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2015 teenagers between 12 to 17 years suffered at least one depressive episode. With the passage of time, the numbers are increasing.
“Decoding (a child’s difficult) behavior is like looking at a rain wrapped tornado crossing the road in front of you. You see the fury of rain, hail, wind and debris, but you have to look real hard to see the driving force behind it.” Deborah A. Beasley, Successful Foster Care Adoption.
As a parent, you must be aware of teen habits If he looks troubled and is not opening up to you then the following might be the reasons of his unhappiness:
1. Many young people are suffering from anxiety disorder and out of them, only 20% get treatment because the rest aren’t taken seriously by their parents or guardians.
2. The standards of beauty have been raised to an unrealistic level by the media and the entertainment industry making it impossible for the normal human beings to reach it. Many teenagers think they are ugly and not attractive enough to get attention from others and this results in their constant unhappiness.
3.The minds of teenagers crave stimulation and by nature, they have impulsive emotional reactions.
4. The teens of today are the post 9/11 generation and they have been raised in an era of national and economic insecurity. They have known terrorism and school shootings as a norm and are unaware of the time when things were peaceful. All this leads to them have a troubled and over-stressed mind.
5. Because of easy access to the latest technology, teenagers are more aware of what is going around the world than the past teen generations. The recession, the global problems, and degrading environment cause more depression in teens than their school and home. They are more affected by what is going on in the world than their own school or neighborhood.
6. This generation feels more entitled to money and other material things than the people in the past. Not getting the latest model of their favorite phone or not wearing branded clothes is a matter of self-pity and worrying for the teenagers of today. The hunger is never satisfied and they keep wanting one thing after the other.
7. The social media is an easy way of finding out what is happening in the lives of other people. If a teen sees that their peers having fun or are happy, it automatically creates a feeling of uneasiness. As they are not in the middle of all that fun, they feel unhappy and might even be jealous of the other person’s happiness.
8. Parents also over-supervise their kids and at times, they resort to the decades old parenting techniques which were suitable only for that period of time. They must realize that they need to adopt the newer, finer parenting methods. Even if you are in the same room with your child, there are chances that he might be involved in an emotional turmoil on their phone and you are completely unaware of it.
“Whatever emotional state you’re in while you’re parenting conveys more to your child than the content of what you’re doing with them, no matter how perfect your intervention looks “on paper.” Michael Y. Simon, The Approximate Parent
9. Teenagers are putting pressure on themselves rather than their parents doing it. They feel pressurized while filling out a college application, unable to beat stress during college life and when a teacher calls on them during a class, they feel that they don’t know anything. They undervalue their skills and this is because of the intense competition in education and the corporate world.
10. Many teenagers are also the victim of bullying at school and this leads to long phases of unhappiness and depression in them. They are targeted because of some shortcomings in their physical appearance or personality, or simply because they can’t gel in with the crowd. In extreme cases, the teen may also start experiencing suicidal thoughts and may end his life.
11. Parents of today have started acting like teenagers too as they indulge themselves in small screens, over socializing to the extent of neglecting their children. They use their phones and social media just like their children and forget to draw the line. If they receive a call during dinner time, they’ll attend it rather follow a no-phone-during-dinner rule.
12. Teens of today drain themselves with full-time jobs, their education, and maintain a strong social identity. They fret over their careers, the climate change, racism, sexism and what not. All this leads to them being overwhelmed and remain low and unhappy with their lives.
13. They hit puberty at the time when technology and social media are constantly on the rise. They have a tedious job at hand to make themselves look attractive and acceptable.
“From the time they hit middle school, they start moving away from home. They are not doing anything wrong; it’s just the way they are made. They are becoming independent, and they begin redefining themselves through the eyes other people who are not in their immediate family. The older they get, the more important it is to have other voices in their lies saying the same things but in a different way. “ Reggie Joiner, The Think Orange.