|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Child development Mental health Social media Emotional intelligence|
Mental health problems are on the rise among adolescents and young adults, and social media may be a driver behind the increase. Mental health covers a wide area of study from the emotional perspective to the psychological view. This also encompasses the social well-being of an individual. It is important to note that mental health helps us make choices in life, handle stress, and, most importantly, how we relate to others. A lot of factors have been attributed to mental health issues key among them being; family history, trauma, and Biological factors. Amongst the early signs of a person experiencing mental problems are; drug abuse, severe mood swings, and Suicidal thoughts, among many others. The youth are the significant casualties in matters of mental health. They experience this in silence as they have no place to turn to for help. With about 1.2 billion of the world's population being youth, for example, persons aged between the age of 9 to 19, then it is an issue that cannot be ignored (Rimes 231).
The youth are faced with everyday challenges that sometimes overwhelm them, and this, in turn, affects them mentally-one of the significant issues being pressure. Today's youths are more pressured to excel in academics and extra-curricular activities than their predecessors. This puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on them as they strive to be the model youth their parents, teachers, guardians, and caregivers want them to be. The pressure, unfortunately, does not always come from the above mentioned; the youth also have got peer groups that influence their thinking. Some of these peer groups are detrimental as they define how they live. Peer pressure can lead to mental issues since the youth tend to isolate themselves from their parents and caregivers. In some cases, they end up having suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety disorders. If not well-handled, peer pressure can be the road to one's early death.
Social media has played a massive role in the lives of today's youth. Most of the youth globally spend most of their time on social media. They live the best of their lives in the virtual world of social media. Continued use of social media has led to the decline of face-to-face interactions among the youth. This leads to social isolation, which in turn leads to mental issues.
Additionally, suicide amongst the youth is on a steady increase. The second most leading cause of death is suicide, according to the world health organization, with the bracket of ages 15 - 29 years being the most affected (World Health Organization). Most of these deaths occur in low or middle-income countries. Suicide has led to the death of many young lives as well as disruptive psychosocial and severe socio-economic effects considering that the youth are the majority population that steers a country to higher economic growth (Rimes 237). The youth are faced with the challenge of making decisions about their lives, for example, school and career. Some struggle with self-identity. Since self-identity is something not dynamic, the youth always tend to be confused about what to settle on.
Non-suicidal self-injury is also closely related to this were the victims' self-inflict damage to their body, expecting that the injury will lead to moderate minimal physical harm. Self-injury is associated with anxiety disorders. Some of the youth experience this from an early age where they felt neglected in their upbringing. It is quite easy to identify such persons as they are normally scarred around their arms, breasts, abdomen, and legs. They also have frequent and questionable accidents.
Mood disorders are also a problem among the youth. This is closely related to depression and bipolar disorders. Mood disorders interfere with the ability to function normally. One is extremely sad and empty and may be irritable, for example, being depressed. Mood disorders among the youth are a major contributing factor to extreme anxiety. Alcoholism problems among the youth are on the rampant because of such conditions (Chadda 359). Continued use of alcohol impairs one's judgment and their ability to work. The youths in jobs are always absent from work. They always come up with excuses to stay away from work. Their employers might get fed up and fire them, leading to a loss of income and might lead to depression.
Some youths experience bipolar disorders, which are triggered by intoxication. They use hard drugs like cocaine to run away from the reality of life (Rimes 240). The youth experiencing bipolar disorders are at a high risk of falling into depression and committing suicide. Youths experiencing bipolar disorders are easily distracted, and they tend to shift their attention from one thought to another. Some engage in risky activities like gambling and irresponsible sexual behavior (Chadda 359). They are angered easily by the slightest provocations.
Family plays an important role in the mental health of the youth. The youth are affected directly from their upbringing as small children. Children from a well-structured family will not likely be affected mentally in their youth. However, the opposite is quite true with children from abusive families. They are likely to experience trauma and disorders and general mental health problems in their later lives. Children coming from single-parent families are likely to experience mental problems, including depression (Chadda 211). This may be attributed to less resilience. Families that are single-structured tend to confront stress with little resilience. Economically as compared to the traditional two-parent family structure, single parents always strain. This has always resulted in strained parent-child relationships.
Children and consequently, the youth always show emotional and behavioral related problems. The family structure, once disrupted, can lead to severe effects on the mental health of the youth (Rimes 235). Divorce and the sudden death of a parent may lead to trauma and mental-related problems. Step-parents also contribute to the poor mental health of children. Some of them are known to be abusive, and this is one of the reasons why children in such families are always withdrawn and suicidal.
Behavioral disorders among the youth are also a concern. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is more common in males as compared to females (Rimes 230). People suffering from this disorder always make careless mistakes and pay little attention to their work; they dislike activities that need mental effort, which makes them quite a baggage in the employment world and is always too talkative. This condition has been associated with the continued use of alcohol, smoking, and maternal drug abuse.
The youth experiencing these disorders are always defiant to authority. They do not take instructions and are generally defiant towards authoritative figures. They are aggressive, and their peers always avoid associating with them. Such acts place them at risk of falling out with people at places of work and even their relatives, and it can be attributed to poor parenting and exposure to violence at an early age.
Youths engage in criminal activities such as stealing, which explains why most of the inmates in correctional facilities are the youthful population. The youth in learning institutions have a problem grasping the content, reading, and general communication. They misinterpreted other people's intentions as being mean and cannot make and keep friendships. With behavioral disorders come anxiety problems. This is quite frequent among the older youth. It is important to try to prevent these disorders from an early age by limiting excessive exposure to television and video games at least for the early first years. Mothers should also avoid exposing their children to pollutants and toxins. These disorders have direct implications for the individual, family, and society.
The youth have always been neglected in their well-being. It is high time the stakeholders come together and address the various issues raised that adversely affect the youth. The most important part of the youth's life is the family. From an early age, the youths need to be conditioned on what to expect and not to rely on their families entirely. They should be allowed to chart their way through life and follow what has been laid out for them to follow (Chadda 100). It is important to note that all this may fail, and the youth may find him/herself still experiencing mental problems. In such a case, it is crucial to admit them to a psychiatric facility to help them recuperate. It is important to acknowledge people with bipolar disorders rather than judge them and criticize them. With the ones that are suicidal, it is important to book them in hospitals until the doctors give the green light for their release.
Chadda, Rakesh K. "Youth & mental health: Challenges ahead." The Indian Journal of medical research 148.4 (2018): 359. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362731/
Rimes, Katharine A., et al. "Non-binary and binary transgender youth: Comparison of mental health, self-harm, suicidality, substance use and victimization experiences." International Journal of Transgenderism 20.2-3 (2019): 230-240. Retrieved from http://gala.gre.ac.uk/17567/2/17567%20WEST_%20Nonbinary_and_Binary_Transgender_Youth_2017.pdf
World Health Organization. "Adolescent Mental Health." World health organization, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-mental-health
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