Depression continuous to rise all over the world, but it is increasing dramatically among the teens and surprisingly, smartphones are to be blamed for the condition. Depression diagnoses in the teens has increased more than 50% in the last few years. Challenging situations and different relationship woes are one of the main reasons for depression. Scientists have blamed the excessive use of social media and smartphones as the evil twins, responsible for depression. The fact that more than 20% people suffering from treatment resistant depressional, think about suicide, is quite a concern.
In functional medicine and functional neurology, we learn that there are other factors which burden the teenage brain, and which can lead to depression. It is known that neuroinflammation and childhood brain-based disorders are one of the causes of treatment resistant depression which is said to be a problem associated with the inflamed brain.
Research has found a correlation between depression and the use of smartphone. The more time they choose to spend on the phones, the more depressed they shall be. Increasing use of smart phones also raises a concern of emotional distress due to cyber bullying.
Increasing use of smartphones also leads to another behavior, which plays a major role in depression. It is one of the major causes of sleep deprivation, which can be linked to mood disorders and suicide attempts.
These days, teens have started isolated themselves. These days teens are spending a lot of time in front of the screens. When smartphones were not around, kids would hangout. These days virtual hangouts have become a part of life and replaced swimming pools, basketball courts, bowling alleys, roller rinks and gathering spots.
Few teens now work on part time jobs. These days 56% of teen work on part time jobs, which is quite low (85%) when compared to more than 30 or 50 years.
In the meantime, the number of teens suffering from depression and suicide have increased drastically since 2011. Research reveals that 3 out of 4 such teens own a smartphone.
Addiction to smartphones and their online hangouts, teens are increasingly becoming unhappier – much more than their previous generations. Research have revealed a direct correlation between time spent on social media and on screens. The degree of unhappiness and depression rate is high amongst girls, which is certainly double than the boys. The lesser time kids spend on the tablets and phones, the happier they are going to be.
It is known that teens who spend more than 3 or 4 hours in a day, are sucked into a vicious virtual reality which increases the risk by as much as 30%.
Teen Depression and Childhood Brain Development Problems
It is easy to blame the mental health problems of teens on their smart phones. Smartphones do play a major role in brain development problems but industrialization is also known to have an impact on the human brain and the young developing nervous system is quite vulnerable.
Over the last 20 years, the problem related to childhood development has increased in the form of learning disabilities, OCD, autism and ADHD. Such disorders are totally linked to different environmental toxins, stressed lifestyle and poor diet in case of children and pregnant women as well.It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that the kids are engaged in different activities which are different from Instagram and Snapchat, functional medicines and functional neurology plays a role in addressing the metabolic health issues of the young brain.
This is not just about different neurological imbalances which might be existing before birth in the form of sedentary lifestyle, poor diet conditions, inflammation and blood sugar imbalance. Depression is quite an inflammatory disorder.
A number of metabolic issues which are associated with brain development disorders include:
- Inflammatory foods
- Infections which include viral, fungal and bacterial
- Food intolerance
- Chemical in-sensitiveness
- Leaky gut problem
- Digestion problems
Autoimmune disease is a condition when the immune system is attached and it destroys tissues in body. This often includes the brain.
The kind of brain rehabilitation which a child needs is usually dependent on the history and also functional neurology examination. Along with different lifestyle and nutritional protocols, it is possible to develop functional neurology exercises. These rehabilitation exercises work towards the individual rehabilitation needs.
Several families have mentioned about noticing rapid changes in the behavior of teens, changes in the social skills, mood and other types of brain-based signs.
Get in touch with my office to know how functional neurology is effective and how it can help in case your teen has depression.