smartphone use and depression in teen girls

Smartphone Use and Depression in Girls

September 14, 2017

From privileged to underprivileged, affecting every shade on the spectrum, this disease does not discriminate. Depression in girls is an epidemic that needs to be addressed.

Instead of using cell phones to solely make calls, not too long ago, smartphones made a huge debut. Suddenly, social life was constantly accessible. The young daughters of today constantly struggle with having a reminder of their social ranking everytime they pick up their phone.

Holly Shakya, a social media researcher and assistant professor at the University of California, indicates,“We found that the more you use Facebook over time, the more likely you are to experience negative physical health, negative mental health, and negative life satisfaction.”

Constantly being compared, these young girls are seeing glamorized fragments of the world around them. Social media has become the mentor, the parent, the platform for idolization, and in more cases than not, the neighborhood bully. Sites such as Facebook, Instagram and even are raising many children in today’s day in age and the effects are horrifying.

smartphone use and depression in teen girlsFrom 2011-2015 clinical depression, one of the most severe forms of depression, saw a rise in over 60% in girls and merely 20% in boys, while still alarming, teenage girls are suffering at an outstanding rate compared to boys. The United States Center for Disease Control recognizes that adolescent suicide rates have been elevating unshakably since 2007. Furthermore, suicide in girls is at its highest rate since 1975.

If you notice multiple of the following symptoms in your daughter, it is advised that you are attentive, though speaking to her from a place of concern. Remember not to interrogate her or put her on the spot. If you are not comfortable or you notice that she is not comfortable, there are outside forms of help she can receive such as inpatient therapy. Below is a list of common symptoms that you as a parent can watch out for.

  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness.
  • Changes in eating habits such as suddenly skipping meals or binge eating.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequently having nightmares.
  • Unexpectedly stopping the use of her phone or computer privileges.
  • Appearing nervous or jumpy when an Instant message, text message, or Email appears.
  • Appearing to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using her phone or computer.
  • Becoming abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members.
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming her self, or talking about suicide.
  • Expressing reluctance or refuses to participate in activities she previously enjoyed.

Now, these symptoms vary from child to child. Just as one may cope by overindulgence in sweets, another child may only eat once a day or not at all, losing interest in nourishing oneself is an example of how depression can amount to something much bigger and dangerous

Usually, by the time the people around someone suffering from depression realize it, they have already been struggling for a while & studies show are much more likely to turn to substance abuse. Therefore, realizing as soon as possible is tremendously important. Additionally, studies show that adolescents involved in bullying are more likely to have problems with things such as focusing, adjusting to their school’s environment, getting a healthy amount of sleep, and succeeding academically which hinders them only further into their adulthood.

This is knowingly alarming, which is why as a parent and family member, you are encouraged to act. Ron J Steinberg, MD, a Medical Director and Senior Psychopharmacologist at the Child Mind Institute states that “if several symptoms are present, be vigilant about the possibility of depression.”

In addition to offering mental health services, Hillcrest integrates behavioral health as well as addiction rehab services. This provides our adolescents with the tools they need to face the demands of the ever-changing society around them.

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center is an inpatient facility specifically designed for teens. Set your daughter up to succeed by guiding her to recovery. Remember to listen to your daughter, children who have been bullied confirm that truly listening to them, giving advice, and affirming afterward that the bullying has stopped are some of the most helpful things that you can do from an outside standpoint. Ultimately, a strong Parent-child relationship is likely to help with maintaining what she has learned, leading to a healthy transition from inpatient therapy back home and then eventually directed back into everyday society.