Computer Use and the Growing Phenomenon of Teenage Depression and Other Mental Issues – Part II of a Two Part Article

Part II

….. Continued from Part I

Teenage depression. How did we get here from the age of the teenage years being the no worries age to that where kids have to worry about anti depressants like adults with lifetime consequences for their growing brains.

The technology age is a difficult one for parents. Computers, the Internet, video games, cell phones and so one are all double edged tools. They are useful for quick communication and carrying our some certain tasks as well as for keeping the children busy.

The problem is that their use must be monitored and controlled to prevent them from becoming a curse. Secondly, once in place, parents need to enforce the controls they put in place. Children cannot be left to control themselves. That part of the brain is not yet full developed in them. Even if they seem responsible parents need to follow up to avoid irreparable surprises.

Consequently, On the one hand parenting has become much more difficult than in previous generations while on the other hand the need to work long hours leaving children to their devises for long periods of time in order to put food on the table for these same children has become more acute..

Thus while the child needs the parent’s attention, the parent needs to spend more time trying to provide for the child. This conflict in many cases results in children being allowed to be on computer devices for too long.

It may therefore be a good preventive measure for parents and schools to monitor and set limits for computer use and exposure for these children. They may complain as teenager will always do and feel stifled but the discipline and the reduction in artificial light exposure will reap huge dividends in better mental health.

It may indeed also be a good thing for parents to spend quality time talking to their children to find out how computer use and internet exposure especially social websites, games, the news they read and online comments are affecting them. This should be done regularly

Further if any stressful incidence occurs locally or internationally that children get to know about, it is advisable to talk it out with them instead of allowing them to use their computers as their comforter as many people both children and adults seem to be doing in today’s world.

A computer is lifeless and cannot convey or filter emotions and can therefore not be a source of comfort for emotional stress. Reliance on it could therefore lead to feelings of emptiness, loneliness, anger, and depression and so on as serious biochemical imbalances set in.

Going for daily walks in the daytime and absorbing sunlight which is life containing and which is naturally coded to stimulate our brains to produce emotion balancing biochemicals as well as exercising, prayer, forgiving, talking to others, reading (especially reading the human computer user manual we call the Bible to gain a better understanding of how we are coded to be) and eating foods that provide the nutrients needed by the brain to produce these biochemicals would be a better bet.

Sadly, teenage depression is indeed a reality in today’s world and it is growing fueled in part by the heavily wired life we adult have bestowed upon them.

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Computer Use and the Growing Phenomenon of Teenage Depression and Other Mental Issues – Part I of a Two Part Article

This is an article I wrote in 2010 that is still current today – Read and enjoy

There are many kinds of mental issues that afflict humans including depression, schizophrenia, Bi polar disorder and so on. Depression is a mental issue that afflicts many people in our society today. Mental issues are really a result of our inbuilt stress management system being overwhelmed in one or more areas.

In bygone years depression was considered an adult only issue. Today however, both adults and children are routinely diagnosed with depression unlike the pre computer age when children played around more, ate organic food, were less exposed to artificial light and childhood depression was a rare occurrence if ever seen.

Stress to our system can be generated by a host of things including the presence of toxins in our bodies. Other factors include chemical, genetic, nutritional and electrical imbalances. Imbalances can result from work or relationship issues as well as environmental and genetically inherited factors and so on.

At least four of the stress factors – Toxins and chemical, nutritional and electrical imbalance are inherent in computer use, making users susceptible to various mental issues including depression like symptoms. These imbalances and stresses could also make those with genetic susceptibility more at risk.

There is no age at which exposure to stressors cannot wreak havoc in the system. The risk for teenagers is increased by the fact that their brains and body functions are still in the developing phase and may not have developed the capacity for handling certain stresses at the time of exposure. This constant rapid brain change can also mask the problem for a long time before it is detected.

The fact is that the use of computer devices of all kinds including iPhones, cell phones, video games, classroom teaching and learning devises in school and at home for study and recreation may be placing unusually high demand on the body’s nutrient, nerve and brain messaging biochemicals beyond what the growing body can effectively handle. This has serious current as well as future implications for today’s youth.

The lure of light generating devises may be too much for teenagers to handle without parental or other adult control. If parents or guardians for example are not vigilant the trouble may not be detected for a long time.

Today’s teenagers grew up on the computer and so have been exposed to these stresses for quite a while with accumulative weakening consequences for their natural body anti stress mechanism.

Computer-related health conditions take a long time to fully manifest, which may be why so many seem to suddenly be having issues. It is a build up that is now erupting much like a volcano takes a long time to build up before it erupts.

If parents do not notice the problem until behavioral issues get out of hand, there could be permanent damage done that would have implication for the rest of a child’s life.

According to The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), “National Survey confirms that youths are disproportionately affected by Mental Disorders.”. They also say that ” mental disorders most commonly start in early life”

….. to be continued in part II

Please be sure to read part II. I will be providing some very simple practical suggestions

References

National Institute for Mental Health article –¬†http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2010/national-survey-confirms-that-youth-are-disproportionately-affected-by-mental-disorders.shtml