May 06 2018

Technology and stress are a bad combination for teenagers today.*

Published by at 1:26 pm under Immune System,Stress

Technology and stress are a bad combination for teenagers today.*
Teens and adolescents are growing up in a toxic environment that is fueling high rates of anxiety and depression.1*

If there ever was a time to stop and pay attention to what’s going on with your kids, now is the time. While adolescents today have a reputation for being more fragile and less resilient, and not as “tough” as when their parents were kids, studies show something much darker is simmering beneath the surface. Anxiety and depression has been on the rise since 2012, and this trend transcends all demographics, and communities. Whether college bound or not, rich or poor, rural or suburban, kids are affected. Financial stress in the family can intensify these issues, and girls are at more risk than boys.1*

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 3 million teens aged 12-17 during 2015 had at least one major depressive episode during the previous year. Two million reported that their depression impaired them and their ability to function in their daily lives. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.3 million teens, 30% of girls and 20% of boys had an anxiety disorder. These numbers are most likely low since many don’t seek help for depression and anxiety. A 2015 Report from Child Mind Institute found only 20% of young people with a diagnosable anxiety disorder sought treatments.1*

Why is this generation of kids so stressed, depressed and prone to anxiety? Researchers are determining several contributing factors. For one, standardized testing and No Child Left Behind has been a part of the last decade, creating a new type of pressure in the classroom for both teachers and kids. These kids are also the post 9/11 generation. They have only known a world with terrorism and school shootings. And, the most insidious factor in their lives, is that they hit puberty at the time when technology and social media were transforming society.1*

“If you want to create an environment to churn out really angsty people, we’ve done it,” says Janis Whitlock, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self Injury and Recovery. She thinks the main factor stressing our kids, even above school stress and today’s helicopter parenting, is this “…cauldron of stimulus they can’t get away from, don’t want to get away from or don’t know how to get away from…”1*

Everything is documented on social media, news is always present in the media, and things stay online for hours and days.  Every bad thing that happens in the world is broadcast over and over, and social media sites can be playgrounds for snarky attacks and bullying. Kids can’t get away from it. There are apps for kids that “cut” and sites for kids contemplating suicide. There is anything and everything available for them to find inside their phones. And most kids are glued to their phones constantly. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter…kids can’t escape their problems when they leave school. They always see what others are doing that they weren’t included in and kids can be downright mean.1*

And this stress and angst is starting young. School pressure, technology and bullying is affecting elementary kids as young as the 5th grade, according to Palm Beach School Counselor Assistant Co-President Ellen Chance. “…Kids don’t want to come to school because they feel outcast and targeted…”1*

“…It’s hard for many adults to understand how much of teenagers’ emotional life is lived within the small screens on their phones, but a CNN special report in 2015 conducted with researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Texas at Dallas examined the social-media use of more than 200 13-year-olds. Their analysis found that “there is no firm line between their real and online worlds,” according to the researchers…”1*

Other things affecting teenager’s stress levels are the amount of sleep and exercise they get, and also the amount of screen time they spend each day. Teenagers spend an average of 7 ½ hours on some type of media every day. Teens aren’t sleeping enough, an average of 7.4 hours per school night, whereas 9-10 hours is what is recommended according to The Center for Disease Control. Teens are also exercising less than one time per week if at all, even though exercise is a proven way to help reduce stress levels.2*

“…The negative health effects of lack of sleep and too much screen time for teens could be significant. Teens who don’t get enough sleep are four times as likely as well-rested teens to develop major depressive disorders, according to a recent University of Texas study, while teens who are already depressed are more likely to lose sleep. Teens who spend a lot of time on the Internet are also as likely to exhibit depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts as teens who misuse drugs and skip school, according to a recent Swedish study…”2*

From a health perspective, chronic stress can really take a toll on the body. It makes us more susceptible to viral illnesses such as catching a cold or the flu, and puts us at a greater risk for other diseases and infections as it wreaks havoc on our immune system and overall health. It is essential that we set our kids up for healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors. We don’t want to see our teens have health issues down the road. *

We can help ourselves and our kids by taking steps unplug. Adults need to put down their phones and look and listen to their kids. Spend quality, interactive time together. Keep a regular bed time and wake up time. Exercise at least 4-5 times per week and daily if possible. Eat right. Limit alcohol. B Complex vitamins are an excellent source for stress reduction. Body Biotics™ Liquid B 6-9-12 drops are an easy and excellent way to get these extra B vitamins. They are in a tasty berry flavor so you can give them to your kids as well. And since stress takes a major toll on the gut and  immune system, give your kids a regular dose of friendly bacteria, found in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.*

Healthiest wishes,




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