Though we cannot generalize a statement, but it is true that teenagers are more prone to stress and other hazardous factors that affect the mental health.
There can be several reasons:
- Teenage is a phase of transition in one’s life when he or she progresses towards the outer world. They tend to move out from parental care, and starts doing things alone. going alone to school, going alone for tutions, going alone for shops are common activities, and several new situations arise in the pathway which may not be very favourable. Inability to handle them properly can cause depression.
- The care factor is reduced when a person reaches his/her teenage. As parents slowly allow free movement to their kids at this stage, children also tend to discover new space, new knowledge, new understanding. They care less about what others are concerned of; what parents are bothering about; they want to get loose. However, in the process of alienation from familiar ties, they reach a stage where they feel futile. Friends, foes, new habits, everything turns out to be useless at some points of time; they are unable to find the truth, and this leads to depression.
- Teenagers these days are loaded with a lot of study pressure, exams, tutions etc. school syllabus is getting more and more extensive day by day, and it becomes too hectic for a teenage child to handle all this pressure. Texts are getting advanced as compared to standards and hence each subject requires a tutor if you wish to excel. Completing 6 hours of school and then attending 3-4 tution classes each day is a lot of stress and pressure, and when the child breaks down, he succumbs to depression.
- Teenagers are often stressed with competition. The pressure to succeed and this pressure means reaching the top; being at the uno position. Everybody cannot handle this pressure equally. The set expectation of society, of parents and relatives is too high, and a teenager has to undergo this pressure; in case he or she fails to keep up to the goal set by the society for him or her, it means a lot of despair. Teenagers are no taught to handle failures and that is very sad.
- Teenagers face serious problems regarding bullying, ragging, love relationships, break-ups, betrayals which they are not able to discuss with elders in the house. Unable to solve the problems they are usually stricken with anxiety. Also lack of a proper vent of emotions leads towards depression.
- Outer distractions affect the inner consciousness- when one steps out into the world, there are positive as well as negative influences like addiction, drug, and many other attractive things which can be fatal in the long run. There is a dilemma going on in a child’s mind on what to accept. The bad habits are attractive, they lure him or her, at the same time, the childhood values are not completely effaced. What to do, how to do, these questions do not come with a clear answer. They are in between two phases, one which was innocent and devoid of reality and one which looks dangerous, yet attractive, the practical life. Teenagers often face this confused state of identity, which can be a major cause of depression.
- There is also a scientific causative factor for teenage depressive behaviour- the dysfunction of gene DCC during adolescence can be the cause of behavioural problems. The DCC gene is linked with the prefrontal cortex which remains active to its best during the teenage years and regulated all the emotional and cognitive activities called the "executive suite," including calibration of risk and reward, problem-solving, prioritizing, thinking ahead, self-evaluation, long-term planning, and regulation of emotion. Hence disruption in the DCC gene functioning can cause problem in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex which leads to behavioural dissociations in the teenager.
Mental health is the most important thing. Competition and pressure should not be levied on teenagers beyond their abilities. Parents and teachers should develop a friendly approach towards them to understand their problems better. Depression can come, it can also be cured; the important role is that of the family.