We already knew that depression in adolescence isn’t rare, but now it’s becoming clearer and clearer that girls are more often affected by it than boys. Research is piling up showing the disparity between the genders when it comes to depression in adolescence–but professionals are still searching for the reason why this is happening.
Reasons why depression in adolescence may affect girls more
A large study recently came out showing the gap between genders in reference to depression in adolescence. From 2005 to 2014–less than 10 years, mind you–depression in young people spiked up. This was about 500,000 more teens experiencing depression with around three-fourths of them being girls.
So, we know the what, but where’s the why?
Some scientists are chalking it up to social media use. It’s been shown that girls are more likely to be using social media platforms as a way of communicating with others–so maybe there could be a connection to explore there.
We already know that the images and expectations depicted by the media can be incredibly harmful on a young girl’s forming mind, social media just makes it easier to pass along those messages. While social media is an inspirational and revolutionary means of connecting with others, it can also be used as way for bullies to target their victims 24/7.
Focusing on appearances is never good for mental health, but that’s what many social media platforms are centered around. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are some of the most used social media platforms–and they all are heavily based on other’s approval of either statuses, posts, or pictures.
The answer to this spike in depression in adolescence (particularly in girls) could be traced back to the media once again. It has in the past and until the media decides to realistically and positively depict women, it may always continue.
What parents can do
As a parent–whether you believe it or not–you have a large amount of influence on the way your daughter thinks. Simply opening a discussion about the unrealistic portrayals of women in the media can be helpful.
Don’t be forceful, just gain her opinion on how she feels about the way the media shows what a “perfect” woman should look and act like. The insight can help you to be more positive around your daughter and be a better role model overall.
If you truly believe your daughter is facing issues such as depression in adolescence, it’s critical to seek out a professional for further guidance.
Solstice East is here for your family
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression in adolescence, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, bullying, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.
We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.
For more information about treating depression in adolescence at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.