Teenage Mental Health Problems

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    I am currently researching if there has been an increase in teenage mental health problems, particularly focusing on the last 16 years.

    1. Do you think there has been an increase or that mental health problems are increasing in teenagers?

    2. Why do you think there is an increase/decrease? What are the causes

    3. What could be done to prevent the increase of mental health in teenagers.

    Many thanks !
    Tadi
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    "You're not depressed - what do you have to be depressed about? Are you living in a failed marriage with a dead end career? Do you live in abject poverty? No, you're young, healthy and the world is your oyster." People need to toughen up a little bit.

    3. People should turn around and go "You're not depressed - what do you have to be depressed about? Are you living in a failed marriage with a dead end career? Do you live in abject poverty? No, you're young, healthy and the world is your oyster."

    Ofc, this doesn't apply to everyone.
    You do realize that depression is a mental illness not simply a frame of mind brought about by environmental factors, right? You can be a billionaire and depressed, it doesn't discriminate.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    You do realize that depression is a mental illness not simply a frame of mind brought about by environmental factors, right? You can be a billionaire and depressed, it doesn't discriminate.
    So much is true. However, I do think as someone <20 you have very few legitimate reasons to be depressed. You have your entire future ahead of you and almost no matter your current situation you can have a bright future.

    I've seen a number of people claim to be depressed and diagnosed with it. I think perhaps 1 of them had any real cause. However, I am a cold hearted SoB so there is that.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    So much is true. However, I do think as someone <20 you have very few legitimate reasons to be depressed. You have your entire future ahead of you and almost no matter your current situation you can have a bright future.

    I've seen a number of people claim to be depressed and diagnosed with it. I think perhaps 1 of them had any real cause. However, I am a cold hearted SoB so there is that.
    You completely missed what I said. People don't need a "legitimate reason" or cause, it's a mental illness that can affect anyone regardless of environment.

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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    You completely missed what I said. People don't need a "legitimate reason" or cause, it's a mental illness that can affect anyone regardless of environment.
    Here is where we disagree. I don't believe you can spontaneously become depressed for no reason.

    However, my opinion on the subject is not authoritative at all. These are just my unfounded beliefs.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    Here is where we disagree. I don't believe you can spontaneously become depressed for no reason.

    However, my opinion on the subject is not authoritative at all. These are just my unfounded beliefs.
    Well, you're right there at least.

    You do realise you're completely flying in the face of the majority of scientific evidence on the subject, don't you? It's about as weird as someone saying "I don't believe people develop schizophrenia for no reason"; on what grounds are you basing that 'belief'?
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    Well, you're right there at least.

    You do realise you're completely flying in the face of the majority of scientific evidence on the subject, don't you? It's about as weird as someone saying "I don't believe people develop schizophrenia for no reason"; on what grounds are you basing that 'belief'?
    My personal perception of the world. I said its unfounded and I know full well that a great many people completely disagree with me, scientific papers disagree with me and that its an often controversial and upsetting opinion.

    (I don't why 'belief' is in ''. It is a belief. If I'd said fact or whatever then sure but I'd say 'belief' is the best way to describe my opinion on the subject.)
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    My personal perception of the world. I said its unfounded and I know full well that a great many people completely disagree with me, scientific papers disagree with me and that its an often controversial and upsetting opinion.

    (I don't why 'belief' is in ''. It is a belief. If I'd said fact or whatever then sure but I'd say 'belief' is the best way to describe my opinion on the subject.)
    It's in inverted commas because it's pretty weird to hold a belief that's in opposition to the majority of evidence, especially without even attempting to provide any counter-evidence.*

    I'm no astrophysicist. Imagine how weird it would be if I just decided not to believe in black holes, and then said 'it's just my opinion' in response to people questioning my stance.

    I don't understand why people feel they can legitimately have 'opinions' on subjects they apparently don't know anything about, is all.*
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    It's in inverted commas because it's pretty weird to hold a belief that's in opposition to the majority of evidence, especially without even attempting to provide any counter-evidence.*

    I'm no astrophysicist. Imagine how weird it would be if I just decided not to believe in black holes, and then said 'it's just my opinion' in response to people questioning my stance.

    I don't understand why people feel they can legitimately have 'opinions' on subjects they apparently don't know anything about, is all.*
    I have my personal experience and perception of the world. I don't believe anyone else has such a radically different one. I'm not trying to convince anyone to agree with me because I don't think I have a compelling argument or evidence to do so. I was asked my thoughts on this issue and gave them. (I do know I'm not alone in thinking this - I've met others who agree with me. Though I know I'm well in the minority.)

    I'm not steadfast in my opinions. If evidence I find compelling is presented then I'll happily accept it and say I was completely wrong. However, no concrete evidence has been shown to me. (I don't think concrete evidence can really exist. I'm a mathematician so I'm pretty pedantic when it comes to proof.)
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    1. I think there's been an increase in diagnosis. I think people are way too sensitive and will cry about nothing. I think probably the amount of mental health problems hasn't changed in reality.

    2. People are more sensitive than ever before. I mean, universities have to have 'safe spaces' where nobody can be upset or say anything potentially 'triggering'. Nobody is willing to turn around and go "You're not depressed - what do you have to be depressed about? Are you living in a failed marriage with a dead end career? Do you live in abject poverty? No, you're young, healthy and the world is your oyster." People need to toughen up a little bit.

    3. People should turn around and go "You're not depressed - what do you have to be depressed about? Are you living in a failed marriage with a dead end career? Do you live in abject poverty? No, you're young, healthy and the world is your oyster."

    Ofc, this doesn't apply to everyone.
    What is your personal or professional experience of dealing with people with mental health difficulties?


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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    Here is where we disagree. I don't believe you can spontaneously become depressed for no reason.

    However, my opinion on the subject is not authoritative at all. These are just my unfounded beliefs.
    I'd suggest you get a bit more informed on the subject
    As someone who has wanted to end their life, and had two 'dark' periods before the age of 20, I can honestly say that they were not in proportion to my life.
    My life is theoretically pretty good actually, but when I am in those phases I cannot see anything worth carrying on for. It's as though each day drags out for so much longer, and I don't enjoy anything - to an extreme extent.
    Why would I be affected, as opposed to another student in a similar situation? The environment doesn't account for this...
    Do you see what I mean? (Even if you disagree)
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    (I don't think concrete evidence can really exist. I'm a mathematician so I'm pretty pedantic when it comes to proof.)
    The confidence limit is rather different when it comes to humans, because there are so many variables. The entire concept of proof is not the same, otherwise we would be robots. I don't think there's anything in psychology that you could definitively prove?
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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    What is your personal or professional experience of dealing with people with mental illnesses?
    Beyond knowing a few people who have claimed to have depression (I should say, I'm only talking about depression here.) nothing. I am basing this mostly on my perception of the world. I do know someone quite closely who tried to kill themselves before.

    (Original post by Ezme39)
    -
    I think if people took a step back and had an overview of things they would appreciate that things aren't nearly as bad as they may seem. I suppose it depends if you have an aspiration. If I had no ambition then the days probably would just merge together in a grey blur. I think a vocation in life is important and while you may not have one yet there is one somewhere for you no matter who you are (some people's is being a pornstar. I'm not suggesting you try it but there is a career for everyone no matter who you are.)

    I mentioned I know someone who tried to kill themselves. He was bullied at school before moving elsewhere. He went to therapy where they told him he was depressed and yada yada so they gave him medication which did 'cure' his depression. However, he was visibly not himself when on this medication and after it was taken away he went back into being depressed. So one day when he was moaning I asked him why he was actually depressed and he said he was lonely, he'd always be alone, he was ugly, had nothing to look forward to and whatever.
    I told him that if that's his attitude how does he expect to change this? He got decent grades and had a bright future. If he wants something to look forward to then he should make something to look forward to. If he isn't happy with his appearance then he should change it, go to the gym or something (it wasn't like he had elephantiasis or something).

    I wont say that I made him better because I don't think I did, 1 conversation can't. However, following this I convinced him to join a gym and apply to university. He did recover from his depression later and I think a large part of that was having a purpose and gaining more confidence in his appearance.

    I wasn't happy with myself in the past so i changed it. I used to be horribly out of shape so one day I decided I'd had enough and made a change to my life. In my opinion, again a completely unfounded opinion, people hide behind depression as a reason not to make the effort to change their lives and fix their problems. This isn't universally the case and unless I knew someone's circumstance I wouldn't accuse them of it. If someone claims to have depression then it should be taken seriously because if it isn't and they did then it could be tragic but if they don't and it is then its just a waste of money which is not nearly as bad.

    EDIT: No, i don't think you can prove psychology so until there is a device which puts me in another person's brain I doubt I'll be convinced.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    I have my personal experience and perception of the world. I don't believe anyone else has such a radically different one. I'm not trying to convince anyone to agree with me because I don't think I have a compelling argument or evidence to do so. I was asked my thoughts on this issue and gave them. (I do know I'm not alone in thinking this - I've met others who agree with me. Though I know I'm well in the minority.)

    I'm not steadfast in my opinions. If evidence I find compelling is presented then I'll happily accept it and say I was completely wrong. However, no concrete evidence has been shown to me. (I don't think concrete evidence can really exist. I'm a mathematician so I'm pretty pedantic when it comes to proof.)
    The thing is, if I only have my 'personal experience' to go by on a subject about which I'm not very well-versed, when someone asks me my opinion, I say 'I don't know', and then I go away and find out more about the subject - from sources outside my own head. I find it strange to hold beliefs without exploring the evidence (or expecting another person to furnish you with evidence); it sort of goes against the conventions of academic discourse. Surely you realise that evidence from the majority of experts in the field is going to be more reliable than your individual worldview?

    By the way, asking for the impossible doesn't constitute a rational means of winning an argument. 'Concrete proof' is not available in many scientific fields (and indeed, huge swathes of Medicine), so asking for it here is a bit weird.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)

    I think if people took a step back and had an overview of things they would appreciate that things aren't nearly as bad as they may seem. I suppose it depends if you have an aspiration. If I had no ambition then the days probably would just merge together in a grey blur.
    I think a vocation in life is important and while you may not have one yet there is one somewhere for you no matter who you are (some people's is being a pornstar. I'm not suggesting you try it but there is a career for everyone no matter who you are.)
    Thanks for that, however I am a med student with many aspirations, friends and hobbies. I'm a bit offended by the assumption, and I feel like you wouldn't say that if you read more on mental illness.

    My point was that when depression hits, none of that matters. Nothing is interesting during that period of time, There is no future. Taking a 'step back' is simply impossible under the state of mind.

    Lifestyle changes can help people, I wouldn't argue otherwise. This does not mean that lifestyle was necessarily the cause, nor does it mean that this is universally the case.

    It seems you want to reduce this to logic, and cannot contemplate that this may not be possible.
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    The thing is, if I only have my 'personal experience' to go by on a subject about which I'm not very well-versed, when someone asks me my opinion, I say 'I don't know', and then I go away and find out more about the subject - from sources outside my own head. I find it strange to hold beliefs without exploring the evidence (or expecting another person to furnish you with evidence); it sort of goes against the conventions of academic discourse. Surely you realise that evidence from the majority of experts in the field is going to be more reliable than your individual worldview?

    By the way, asking for the impossible doesn't constitute a rational means of winning an argument. 'Concrete proof' is not available in many scientific fields (and indeed, huge swathes of Medicine), so asking for it here is a bit weird.
    How many people do you think are well versed on this subject? Of those how many do you think will even see this thread? I doubt its very many. I'd also wager I have at least a little more experience than most though no where near enough to make a scientific opinion.

    I generally wouldn't comment without knowing more but I will on this topic because I didn't get the impression the OP was looking for academic papers since it asked "do you think" and if they just wanted numbers then it could easily be googled. Besides which I hold a view which most people disagree with which has evidently sparked some debate. If only those who regurgitated these academic papers replied then that wouldn't have happened.

    I also believe that this is a contentious subject and while I think I'm at an extreme end I cannot be alone in thinking that teenage mental health must be at least somewhat overdiagnosed when you look at how many people are said to be depressed today compared to what it was in the past.

    I have looked at some evidence and I often feel its very subjective. I think people approach the issue too sensitively (understandably). I also recognise (and have already admitted) that I am far from an authority on the matter and would never want someone who i didn't know to take action based on my recommendations.

    I should have said, I don't demand concrete proof for this. (I'd argue concrete proof is unavailable outside of every science except mathematics. 1000 experiments can support a hypothesis but a single 1 can disprove it. Though i digress.) However, it'd have to be quite close to convince me. I tend to be quite stubborn on most issues and while I'd say I'm open to new perspectives and can respect those who disagree with me that doesn't mean I'll subscribe to them without some serious convincing. Once I've made up my mind it takes a lot to convince me.


    (Original post by Ezme39)
    Thanks for that, however I am a med student with many aspirations, friends and hobbies. I'm a bit offended by the assumption, and I feel like you wouldn't say that if you read more on mental illness.

    My point was that when depression hits, none of that matters. Nothing is interesting during that period of time, There is no future. Taking a 'step back' is simply impossible under the state of mind.

    Lifestyle changes can help people, I wouldn't argue otherwise. This does not mean that lifestyle was necessarily the cause, nor does it mean that this is universally the case.

    It seems you want to reduce this to logic, and cannot contemplate that this may not be possible.
    If you have friends and aspirations then, to me, you can always strive to improve yourself, succeed and escape from depression. Maybe it is an irrational and sudden melancholy, I don't know - I've not been what I'd describe as depressed. If taking a step back is impossible then that's why I said someone else needs to do it for them and show them. It seems every time someone is depressed people around them offer a shoulder to cry on and tell them its ok but nobody ever seems to give them a shake up and tell them straight to get themselves together.

    I am a maths student and a cold hearted SoB. Depression probably isn't logical and its probably not something I can understand. If someone is depressed or claims to be I would never tell them that they aren't unless I intimately knew them.

    I don't mean to offend anyone if I do. I would encourage anyone who thinks I'm ignorant to just ignore me because I may well be.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    nobody ever seems to give them a shake up and tell them straight to get themselves together.
    Must say, this made me laugh a bit, just because it's so typically psychiatry before the 1970's 😂
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    (Original post by Ezme39)
    Must say, this made me laugh a bit, just because it's so typically psychiatry before the 1970's 😂
    Eh, i probably am just a miserable old man inside and, yeah, I'm aware that it is.

    I don't think its always the best solution but I think for some people they really need it.

    I don't think anti-depressants are much of a better solution. Treating the symptoms does not address the route cause. I could be completely wrong and depression could just be unlucky biology but I don't think that explains the large increase in cases of depression because its not like teen suicide rates were through to roof previous to them.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    How many people do you think are well versed on this subject?
    Er, quite a few? I work/have previously worked with a lot of them.
    *
    Of those how many do you think will even see this thread? I doubt its very many.
    Not sure what that has to do with anything.
    *
    I'd also wager I have at least a little more experience than most though no where near enough to make a scientific opinion.
    Let's not go there; I don't want start waving qualifications/experience around because I think it's a bit dickish to do so, but if you think your additional experience (not sure what you mean by that, to be honest) means anything (which presumably you do, else why mention it?), why do you not think that other people's rather more significant quantity and depth of experience trumps yours?

    I generally wouldn't comment without knowing more but I will on this topic because I didn't get the impression the OP was looking for academic papers since it asked "do you think" and if they just wanted numbers then it could easily be googled.
    As above; generally when people ask for my opinion on something, I tend to avoid expressing an opinion (unless it's something trivial, which this is not) unless I've got some knowledge beyond the scope of my own personal thoughts. Personal experience, when taken alone, is extremely fallible.

    Besides which I hold a view which most people disagree with which has evidently sparked some debate. If only those who regurgitated these academic papers replied then that wouldn't have happened.
    *
    Not this. The 'all in the name of healthy debate!' line is pretty tired. We're talking about serious issues that affect actual people; it's not about 'regurgitating academic papers', but using the available evidence to find the best way of helping people.

    I also believe that this is a contentious subject and while I think I'm at an extreme end I cannot be alone in thinking that teenage mental health must be at least somewhat overdiagnosed when you look at how many people are said to be depressed today compared to what it was in the past.
    *
    Once upon a time we didn't diagnose a whole load of people with Parkinson's disease either, because we didn't have a name for it, despite the fact that descriptions of the symptoms we now consider representative of Parkinson's date back to Ancient Egyptian times. Over-diagnosis is far from the only reason (or even the most likely reason) for incidence of an illness to increase; we may just be much better at recognising it, or the number of cases may actually have increased. You're leaping to rather a lot of conclusions with this.

    I have looked at some evidence and I often feel its very subjective. I think people approach the issue too sensitively (understandably). I also recognise (and have already admitted) that I am far from an authority on the matter and would never want someone who i didn't know to take action based on my recommendations.

    I should have said, I don't demand concrete proof for this. (I'd argue concrete proof is unavailable outside of every science except mathematics. 1000 experiments can support a hypothesis but a single 1 can disprove it. Though i digress.) However, it'd have to be quite close to convince me. I tend to be quite stubborn on most issues and while I'd say I'm open to new perspectives and can respect those who disagree with me that doesn't mean I'll subscribe to them without some serious convincing. Once I've made up my mind it takes a lot to convince me.
    Some probably is subjective. Much is not. Peer-reviewed journals are a good place to start looking for more objective works.

    The latter comment is strange; it takes no external evidence whatsoever to formulate your beliefs, but any evidence to the contrary has to be 'quite close' to concrete?*

    I don't think we're getting anywhere here, anyhow, so I'll just leave you to those beliefs.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    Beyond knowing a few people who have claimed to have depression (I should say, I'm only talking about depression here.) nothing. I am basing this mostly on my perception of the world. I do know someone quite closely who tried to kill themselves before.
    Personally, I would be careful to draw a very strong opinion based on your interpretation of a few cases. Mental health is very complicated, I have worked and studied in that sector for around 4 years and I still don't understand a lot of parts.

    I would agree with you that there may be an overdiagnosis of mental illness, however, that does not mean that there is not struggles. Someone may not have an illness but still struggle immensely. And they do not need to just toughen up. You've talked about helping your friend make lifestyle changes and help with motivation - and that is good because those are two areas which can really help someone who is struggling with their mental health. However, that doesn't mean that they just needed to accept that their life wasn't that bad. Everyone from time to time gets upset at bits of their life - a bad grade, low on money, lack of friends etc. And they do not need just to be told to compare their life to someone else. It could get out of control, where do we stop with that? There is always someone who has it worse than us. I've heard someone say to someone who was inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted "well, it could have been worse, he could have raped you". Technically this person may have it better than some, but then you are invalidating their experience, which can be horrendous for people.

    I don't think you understand depression or other mental illnesses completely. It is different than just a low mood, there is much more to it. I don't believe that medication is the solution, I believe that each person is different and medication should not be the blanket solution. But telling people to toughen up is not the solution either.


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