Becoming a teenager could be the most exciting, intensive, and complicated moment in the lives of many people. Within this period, most teens attempt to enhance their sense of belonging and self-identification in the world through various strategies. The urge to develop new behavior models while adapting to social norms in society can be stressful to teenagers. Several factors make such changes significantly challenging for young people. The teenagers’ inability to cope with stress, their young developing brains as well as behavioral influences from peers are the major factors that trigger depression and stress in their lives.
Teenage stress and depression have been on the rise for many reasons which include social influences from their peers. Teenagers strive to get acceptance into their respective peer groups by developing their popularity. According to Anderssen (2016), the rising number of cases of psychological issues among teenagers from Canada, and Ontario is linked to teen depression. The resultant effect of failing to achieve popularity results in doubt in oneself. Other factors evoking stress include disappointments of teenagers due to their physical appearances, social status, and romantic relations. The peer groups form the basis of comparison where the teen can compare themselves to other cohort members. Arora & Dhillon (2017), describe the increasing incidences of depression among adolescents in contemporary society. The increasing number of cases directly connects to the peer groups within which the teenagers ascribe their thoughts and ideologies (Arora & Dhillon, 2017). Teens’ relationships are important in shaping the way they think and view the world since most of them are unable to cope with stress resulting in depression.
The incapability to cope with stress is another factor that promotes stress and depression among young individuals. For instance, family views and perceptions of a particular teenager can be detrimental. Most teenagers are unable to handle stress and depression resulting in short- or long-term depression.
Adapting to the new school environment, demanding home or schoolwork, and bullying are some of the devastating issues which promote depression among teens. Also, change to an environment that distorts the inner peace, grief, or trauma in the family due to illness, death, and divorce between the parents or guardians are factors triggering stress and depression among younger ones. Teens experiencing such problems are significantly affected emotionally due to their incapacity to cope with stress at a younger age. These challenges expose them to other significant negative consequences which can deteriorate their lives. Most teenagers cannot handle stress effectively due to their young developing brains.
Teenagers cannot manage stress for a long time compared to adults due to the structural differences in the brain. Teens with depression also have hormonal difference and varying neurotransmitters, which influences the communication between the brain cells, hence important in determining the behavior and moods. The specific neurotransmitters key to depression and stress are dopamine, serotine, and norepinephrine, which contribute to stress and depression when they are at low levels. Teens need to be taught about mental health, the causes of depression, the consequences, and how to mitigate and solve the problems. As the author asserts, “given that you are shaping the rest of your life in adolescence, it’s important for us to understand what the challenges teens are dealing with” (Anderssen, 2016, para. 6). Developing a positive attitude is a step in tackling the prevalence of teen stress and depression.
The change in a teen’s brain which exposes it to stress can also adapt to resist depression as it develops new paths. It is also important to undertake early screening diagnoses among adolescents and children for detection and mitigation. Therefore, there is a need to “increase workforce training for all PCPs and pediatricians about mental health-they’re the first gatekeepers for the population” (Canady, 2016, p. 5). As such, specialists together with parents will be able to help teenagers in understanding different situations which may result in health risks and mental illnesses due to stress and depression.
Stress and depression among teenagers are a big threat to the lives of the youthful generation. The factors leading to this state can be the inability to cope with stress, their young developing brains, and social influences from friends. In the contemporary world, teenagers experience various challenges and problems at home and school. The incapability to handle stress can lead to prolonged depression resulting in health risks and mental illnesses. Compared to adults’ matured brains, younger ones are still undergoing several stages to fully develop their brains. As such, they are unable to handle stressful situations appropriately. Social influences from peers also promote stress and depression among teens. Numerous strategies can be formulated to address the issue of stress and depression among young people if their root causes are properly identified. For instance, to help teenagers cope with stress adults need to acknowledge their weaknesses and advice appropriately.
Anderssen, E. (2016). Number of teens with psychological distress rising at alarming rate. The Globe and Mail. A1. Web.
Arora, M., & Dhillon, R. (2017). Perceived stress, depression and coping strategies in adolescents: A gender perspective. Indian Journal of Community Psychology, 13(1), 149-155.
Canady, V. A. (2016). Task force stresses children, adolescents be screened for MDD. Mental Health Weekly, 26(7), 4–5.