What Causes Depression and Anxiety in Young People

Explore the causes of depression and anxiety among young individuals and find effective coping strategies to help them navigate these challenges.

In contrast to anxiety, which is characterized by excessive worry, fear, and unease, depression is a complex mental health disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest, and a lack of motivation. Mental health issues among young people have become a growing concern, with the prevalence of depression and anxiety among adolescents and young adults increasing.

To better support and empower young individuals, it is important to understand the causes of these conditions, including the impact of social media. This article discusses the various factors that contribute to depression and anxiety in young people, such as social media, trauma, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and supplements.

1. Mental Health Issues in Young People:

Depression and anxiety can affect individuals of all ages, but they often manifest differently in young people. Hormonal changes, academic pressure, social challenges, and the search for identity can make the transition from adolescence to adulthood tumultuous.

External stressors such as peer pressure, family issues, societal expectations, social media, and trauma can significantly impact a young person’s well-being.

2. Symptoms of Depression In Young People:

Young people can experience mood swings, irritability, and sensitivity to rejection and criticism, but if they last for two weeks or more, they may have depression.

  • Lack of interest in their hobbies
  • losing interest in food or overeating
  • Thinking about suicide or death
  • Lacking inspiration and thinking that everything is too difficult

Parents should be aware of behavioral changes in young people that suggest depression and should not be ignored. These includes,

  • Use of drugs and alcohol
  • Lower academic performance
  • Social isolation

3. Identify the causes:

a. Biological factors: genetics and neurochemistry

Genetic factors and imbalances in neurotransmitters can lead to depression and anxiety in young people, and those with a family history of these disorders are more likely to experience them.

b. Environmental factors

Exposure to traumatic events during childhood can have long-lasting effects on mental health, as can adverse experiences such as unstable family environments, poverty, and substance abuse.

c. Academic pressure

The educational system places high demands on young individuals, leading to academic pressure and unrealistic expectations, which can lead to depression and anxiety.

d. Social media and online interaction

Social media has revolutionized communication and interaction, but excessive use and a need for validation can have negative effects on mental health, leading to feelings of loneliness, comparison, and low self-worth.

4. Lifestyle Factors:

Sedentary lifestyles and poor dietary choices can have a negative impact on mental health, as a lack of physical activity reduces the release of endorphins, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Unhealthy diets can also affect brain function and mood regulation.

5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Depression:

CBT is a widely recognized and evidence-based therapy approach for treating depression and anxiety. It helps individuals identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive ones, equipping them with coping skills and strategies to manage their symptoms effectively.

6. Suicide in Young People:

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide and self-harm, so it is important to talk with close and trusted people, remove dangerous items, and encourage and support them to see a healthcare professional to reduce the risk.

7. Seeking Professional Help:

It is important to seek professional help if a young person is struggling with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. Psychologists specializing in mental health issues can provide expert guidance, support, and evidence-based treatments to address individual needs and empower young people to regain control of their lives.

8. Supplement for Depression and Anxiety:

Supplements can be beneficial for managing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but they should never replace professional treatment. Examples include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B-complex vitamins, and herbal remedies. Professional help is essential, but supplements can complement it.

9. Living with Depression and Anxiety:

It is essential to provide a supportive and understanding environment for those struggling with depression and anxiety, encouraging self-care practices, promoting open dialogue, and providing access to professional help. This will help individuals navigate their journey towards recovery.

10. Young People’s Depression Treatment:

Encourage young people to talk to someone they trust and visit their doctor to learn if they have depression. Support can include psychological therapy, lifestyle changes, and antidepressant medication. It can take up to six weeks to feel better after treatment begins, but most will notice an improvement.

There are some self-help pointers for enhancing mental health:

  • Exercising Consistently
  • Engaging in enjoyable activity
  • Eating nutritious food
  • Establishing modest goals
  • Taking part in creative activities, such as painting or songwriting

Final Thoughts

Depression and anxiety in young people are complex conditions influenced by biological, environmental, psychological, social media, trauma, and the risk of suicide. Understanding the causes and seeking professional help is essential for managing these issues effectively.

Supplements may have a complementary role but should be used under professional guidance. By promoting awareness, providing support, and addressing mental health concerns proactively, young people can be empowered to overcome these challenges and live fulfilling lives.



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