A new study shows that children living in areas of high pollution are more likely to develop major depression by the time of their 18th birthday.
The scientists said their findings are particularly significant because 75% of mental health problems begin in childhood or adolescence, when the brain is developing rapidly.
“High levels of air pollution are just not good for you, and particularly for your children, whether that be physical or mental health,” said Helen Fisher at Kings College London, who led the research.
Further studies are needed to be done but there is definitely an issue of high pollution in cities across the UK particular in those living in urban areas.
Parental separation is more likely to harm the mental health of children and a study has shown a rise of emotional problems by 16%.
The research, involving 6,245 children and young people in the UK, is the first British study to explore the links between couple separation or divorce and the impact on the mental wellbeing of children.
Children aged 14 at the time of the split have been shown to have an eight percent increase in conduct disorders and are more likely to show emotional problems such as anxiety and depression.
Prof Emla Fitzsimons, of the Institute of Education at University College London and co-author of the study, said: “Family splits occurring in late, but not early, childhood are detrimental to adolescent mental health. One possible reason for this is that children are more sensitive to relationship dynamics at this age.”
Fitzsimons and her colleague, Aase Villadse, analysed 6,245 children involved in the Millennium Cohort Study, which is tracking the health of young people born at the start of the century.
Dr Nick Waggett, chief executive of the Association of Child Psychotherapists has stated: ” It may be that parents who are occupied with issues of separation as a couple at the point the child moves into adolescence are less able to provide the emotional support that the child needs to negotiate their own process of separation and development towards adulthood.”
Teenagers are turning to mobile phone apps as well as online counselling in order to get the help that they need.
There are thousands of young people struggling with their mental health and many are too scared to seek help which has resulted in them turning to online sources.
According to an article written by The Guardian, “…roughly 123,138 people in the UK downloaded Calm Harm, an NHS-approved app that helps people self-harm less often or not at all, between April 2017 and this month.”
The app was created in 2015 and was created to help those suffering from eating disorders as well as other compulsive disorders.
There are still less than half (37%) of young people not seeking the help that they require but with apps like this, it may help encourage those that are uncomfortable getting help get the help they they deserve.
Other free apps that can be used for to help those that need help for their mental wellbeing include:
We have all had to deal with stress at some point in our life and being a college student is no different. In fact, many teenagers often feel the pressure being applied upon their shoulders to do well. We all have days that we would rather spend cuddled up in the comfort of our own home rather than making the trek to college or university.
Some of the following tips can help bring you out of your shell and make you more comfortable dealing with college life.
Get Enough Sleep
I know, easier said than done but it definitely is an important part of staying healthy. It helps your body get ready for the next day ahead. If you don’t sleep well, there is a greater chance that you can fall ill easier and that again puts even more stress on your mental as well as physical health.
We all know that eating fruit and vegetable are important in keeping our body functioning and it definitely is true. It can be hard for some college students to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients when pizza, burgers, chips and fizzy energy drinks are beckoning us with their cheap prices and many deals that promise a ‘buy one get one free’ on the sugary, fatty and down right unhealthy options. But it is very important to eat the right food items in order to look and feel good.
Drink Less Alcohol
What would college life be without a bottle of the good ol’ stuff? Well, a better one for sure. It is alright to have a drink once in a while with friends on a night out but having too much alcohol on a regular basis has proven to be not too good for one’s health suggests many studies. The NHS has some really good information on their sites like this one here. We all know the obvious side effects of drinking too much like nausea, sore heads and just general sickness in the form of the infamous hangovers. This can result in you needing to take the day off college to recover which in return may result in work piling up and causing you to get stressed all over again. This brings me to my next point…
Don’t Let the Work Pile Up
Let’s be honest, we have all done something at the last minute, whether through choice or just a last minute jog of memory. The sudden dash to the laptop, hands shaking and reading things too quickly to understand at first read is something we can all raise our hands up in shame about. Keep a diary, as old fashioned as that may sound, and keep things in check. It doesn’t need to be in a book format as your phone can be rather useful too. Mark those that have been completed and use highlighters to mark anything that you may need to speak to your lecturer about later on. There are also some really good apps in order to keep up with the work like OneDrive and Evernote can help keep work organised and easy to access via phone or on a computer or a laptop.
Have Some Time to Relax
Relaxing and treating yourself is something that some of us are prone to forgetting. Relaxing and having some ‘you time’ is vital in letting you calm down and let you gather your thoughts together. You don’t need to go and get a massage in order to wind down, sometimes just sitting and watching a movie is just enough to let your thoughts come back to you. Going for a relaxing walk either yourself, with friends or family or your partner is just enough to get through those troubling days. So take a deep breath, relax and know that you have every right to be selfish.
We are all aware that young people take their beloved phone everywhere and anywhere they go.
However, there has been some research conducted by Preventive Medicine Reports which shows that young people spending more than seven hours a day on their phones are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
The information came from young people whose ages ranged from just two years old to 17 years old and it was collected as part of the Census Bureau’s 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health.
The study’s first author and psychology professor at San Diego State University, Jean Twenge has stated:
“At first I was surprised that the associations were larger for adolescents than for younger children, however, teens spend more time on their phones and on social media, and we know from other research that these activities are more strongly linked to low wellbeing than watching TV and videos, which is most of younger children’s screen time.”
Younger children spent less than seven hours on their phones yet it was estimated that around 20% of older children spent either this amount of time or over everyday.
The survey also found that those who spent a great deal of time on their phones were easily distracted, were less stable emotionally and often had problems finishing tasks.
The study has lead to some parents, as well as teachers and doctors, becoming extremely worried for the wellbeing of their children and their health.
You can read more about the story and what Twenge has to say on the issue here.
A recent study, conducted by Action for Children charity, has found that one in three young people suffer from depression, anxiety and the inability to focus on work.
The survey of just under 6,000 people aged between 13 and 18 have reported that they have suffered with negative thoughts that have affected their ability to sleep.
Julia Bentley, Action for Children’s chief executive, has said: “It’s troubling that so many of our young people are dealing with issues of depression and anxiety, and all too often alone.”
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced new plans which will help those to identify and treat children as well as young adults with depression.
A Twitter user has stated their opinion on the situation saying:
We all have mental health and need to stay on top of this shit. It's different world now. Survival is easy but flourishing in life has become increasingly difficult. Depression to Expression is about an HONEST dialogue about mental health. No time for bullshit #mentalhealth