….. 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.