The Struggles Young People Face

Nina, TIME Magazine

An estimated 3.1 million adolescents in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. That means a whopping 20 percent of teenagers will experience depression before reaching adulthood.

Depression rates are growing among adolescents, especially in girls. Some researchers blame technology for the rise in mental health problems. Spending too much time on electronic devices may be preventing young people from engaging in sports or peer activities that help ward off depression.

Depressive disorders are treatable but it’s important to seek professional help. if your teen seems withdrawn, experiences a change in his sleep patterns, or starts to perform badly in school, schedule an appointment with your teen’s physician or contact a mental health professional.

According to research conducted by Family First Aid, 30 percent of teens in the U.S. have been involved in bullying—either as a victim or as the bully. The rise of social media use by teens has made bullying much more public and more pervasive.

Talk to your teen about bullying regularly. Discuss what she can do when she witnesses bullying and talk about options if she becomes a target.

Being proactive can prevent be key to helping your child deal with a bully. It’s important to talk to your child about when and how to get help from an adult.

Surveys show teens believe marijuana is less harmful now than in years past. This may be due to the changing laws surrounding marijuana.

Fortunately, other illicit drug use has held steadily at the lowest levels in over two decades. The peak drug use for teens was in 1996.

Hold regular conversations about the dangers of drugs. And don’t forget to mention the dangers of prescription drugs. Many teens do not recognize the dangers of taking a friend’s prescription or popping a few pills that are not prescribed to them.

Unfortunately, many teens underestimate how easy it is to develop an addiction. And they don’t understand the risks associated with overdosing.

Although the high school dropout rate is decreasing on a national level, 1.2 million students drop out of high school each year in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. A high school dropout is likely to earn $200,000 less over his lifetime when compared to a high school graduate.

It’s no longer just the “troubled teens” who are dropping out of school. Some teens feel so much pressure to get into a good college that they’re burning themselves out before they graduate from high school.

Stay involved in your teen’s education. Provide support and guidance and be ready to assist your teen if he encounters problems.

No matter what precautions you take, teens are still likely to be exposed to unsavory people, unhealthy images, and sexual content online. While there are measures being put into place to reduce the risks kids face online, it’s important for parents to get involved.

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