AUG 21, 2018 08:05 AM PDT

Moody or a Mental Illness?

 

Parenting is not easy. Sometimes a child's behavior might mean that there is a mental health issue or it could be just a kid having a bad day. Between patient caseload and teens that are not always forthcoming with medical caregivers, even doctors and therapists sometimes have a hard time figuring out if a teen is truly depressed and experiencing some kind of mental health issue, or if it’s just typical adolescent attitude, which is never in short supply during the teen years. One thing in patients in their teens or early twenties that is different is how patients seek help. A recent study of 14 to 22 year-olds showed that younger patients tended to turn to the Internet for answers on mental health matters.

In the study, 30% of teens and young adults who reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression say social media is “very” important to them for feeling less alone. For these young people, social media keeps them feeling connected to others, inspired and motivated. When they are stressed or anxious, about one-third of 14-22-year-olds will go online and read blogs or watch video diaries on mental health, mostly from others their age who are also experiencing anxiety, depression or stress. This age group is more likely to ask for help and explain how they are feeling via social media. Many patients in this age group even speak to counselors or doctors via video chat or instant messaging. While there are many reports of the dangers of social media for youngsters, it seems in some ways, connecting to caregivers online is a method this age group is often using.

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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