SPRINGFIELD, MO (11/09/17) - We’ve all seen it. And Greene County has a problem with it. Cyber bullying has a shocking number of teens posting mean things on social media, causing a high amount of teen depression.
“We have seen a lot of bullying, we have seen youth trying to compare themselves to others," says NAMI spokesperson Stephanie Appleby. "And I think it’s because the exposure is a lot more than what it used to be.”
In just recent months, Greene County has had four teen suicides.
A study done by the Translational Psychiatry shows that more than one-third of teen girls experience depression. That’s almost three times the rate for boys.
“Girls are very social and there’s a lot of chatter and talk," says Appleby. "The girls I think internalize it more than the boys do.”
As social media apps grow larger, so does that amount of teens that have the tendency to over-think problems or use harmful beliefs.
Stats show that, on average, people check their smart phones at least 150 times a day. And a study done by a personality journal shows that people with smart phones are prone to moodiness and temperamental behavior.
U.S. News reports that nearly 20 percent of teens has a friend that attempted suicide and 60 percent know of someone who has attempted it. For Appleby, teen depression has hit close to home for one of her family members. “He was always happy and in a good mood. There were no clues at first. Until we looked back and thought we should have noticed.”
But how can parents take notice when their teen is depressed and seek help? Appleby says there are warning signs. She says the red flags to look for are your teen not wanting to go to school, they’re eating habits have changed, or they are giving away things that used to mean a lot to them.
Whatever the case is, Appleby says talking with your teen could save their life.