The number of teenagers who are dealing with anxiety and depression today is overwhelming. In the state of Utah, teenagers with depression ranked first in the country in 2017. The question then becomes; why are so many teenagers struggling with depression? Perhaps even a better question would be; what can you, as parents, do to get them the help they need?
Before we answer those questions, it’s important to understand the common factor between teenagers who experience anxiety and depression. The answer, STRESS.
There are three different types of stress; physical, emotional, and chemical.
Physical stress that teenagers experience include; sports, posture, and lack of activity. Often, teenagers are three sport athletes. So they constantly have practice and games throughout the entire year. Many teens have bad posture from sitting in class all day and being on their phones and other technologies for hours at a time. Lack of activity is a type of physical stress we see in those teens who prefer to hangout inside playing video games or watching television.
Teenagers deal with a lot of emotional stress as well. This is probably the biggest contributor of the three. They’re in this stage of life where they’re figuring out who they are, what they enjoy, what they don’t enjoy, as well as learning how to interact with other people and their surroundings. They have peer pressure around what they’re wearing or what they’re doing over the weekends. Bullying is sometimes a factor. They have emotional stress around their relationships; with their friends and families, and with their significant other. Often times they have poor time management skills. They have huge amounts of stress with testing and prepping for college. On top of all of that, they don’t always make the best decisions and are beginning to figure out there are consequence to those decisions ( i.e. getting pulled over and receiving a speeding ticket).
Many teenagers also experience chemical stress. Chemical stress includes things like junk food and refined sugars, toxic makeups and soaps, and other substances such as drugs or alcohol. These chemical stressors easily leak over into their college years as well, so they’re adding even more stress to their systems than they were in high school and their teenage years.
STRESS is the common denominator.
So, what can you do to get your child the help he or she needs? What can you do to help your child better adapt to and handle the stress in their life, and possibly eliminate the stress all together?
A few things you can do at home would be to eliminate the stressors that you can.
Physical – Get your teen outside and soaking up sunshine and vitamin D. Participate with them in their favorite type of exercise, even if you aren’t good at it or don’t enjoy that type of exercise. Showing them that you’re willing to support them can go a long way.
Emotional – Talk to your teenager about things that are important to them, even if it’s a topic that you don’t care about at all. Giving them the safe space to open up about what’s important to them and showing them that you care can do great things for their emotional state.
Chemical – Throw out the junk food that’s in the house. Replace the unhealthy snacks with healthy ones. Buy them better quality makeups, shampoos, and hygienic products without all of the extra ingredients and chemicals.
Adding regular, consistent chiropractic care to their life can be a good addition as well. With the neurological scans we do in the office, we’re able to measure how the stressors in their life are affecting their brain and nervous system, the master control system of their body. This helps us determine a care frequency that’s specific to your child and their case history, which allows for optimal results to be achieved. Chiropractic care helps to break the stress cycle that they’ve been experiencing, and helps restore balance to the system so their bodies can adapt and thrive.
If you’re interested in learning more, please give us a call!