While many of us may talk about feeling depressed, what we often mean is that we are not as ‘up’ as usual. True depression is a lot more than feeling a little bit blue. When depression strikes teens it can affect nearly everything in their lives: how they are able to perform at school; parent/child relations; straining existing friendships and making it tough to forge all-important adolescent friendships.
Adolescent boys are learning how to be men. They receive many clues as to how this should look from television, movies, books, friends and, hopefully, from their dads. One clear message boys get is that men need to be strong. Adolescent boys struggling with depression are particularly hesitant to confront their problem because for many it represents a failure to live up to the expectation of manhood. This can make detecting depression in a teenage boy a bit of game of hide and seek.
Lee Thompson was known to many people as a Disney TV star on The Famous Jett Jackson. Later in life he co-starred on TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles. But his rising star had plummeted due to years of depression and he committed suicide in August 2013.
There has been increased attention given to the sedentary habits of teens in the United States as a result of higher rates of obesity among young people. Among the concerns of experts are the long hours spent in front of television, video games and on the Internet, which may take the place of other, more active options.
Teens currently have more opportunities than ever to access a variety of entertainment options. No longer limited to the shows offered on regular programming or even what is offered on DVDs, teens can now choose shows and movies from Netflix and cell phones provide thousands of options for games and video viewing.
With so many choices in entertainment, it is easy to understand how a teen may not be motivated to leave the armchair for more active pursuits. However, a new study provides evidence that may further encourage teens, their parents and educators to make fitness a priority.