Yassiry Gonzalez goes to bed early. But often she wakes up around 1 or 2 in the morning. And from then on, sometimes all the way through dawn, the New York City high school student is on her phone — on FaceTime with close friends, or looking through Instagram.
“Sometimes, I’m so tired that I’ll just fall asleep in school.” She estimates the all-nighters happen once or twice a week. And on the weekends? “There’s no sleep. No sleep.”
Looking back, 2018 may be the year that a critical mass of people started wondering: Am I spending too much time on my phone?
Read more… (NPR)
An annual survey that tracks drug use by American teenagers found that smoking, binge drinking, and abuse of prescription drugs is way down. But teen vaping is up—and not just a little bit. Vaping is way up.
The study, conducted by the University of Michigan, asked roughly 45,000 American teens about their use of substances over the past 30 days, and drug use is down in almost every category. But the number of teens who vape nicotine and marijuana has skyrocketed over the past year, showing some of the largest jumps of any category since the survey began in the 1970s.
Read more… (Gizmodo)
Throughout high school, Alexander Sanchez was severely depressed. He thought about suicide, and he didn’t know how to explain what was wrong or ask for help. Instead, Sanchez said that whenever he wasn’t in school, he would lie in bed all day, “not eating, not being happy, being almost not there.”
It wasn’t until Sanchez, who grew up in College Station, Texas, got to college that a friend convinced him to see a psychologist, who diagnosed him with depression. In hindsight, Sanchez said he did not reach out for help sooner because he believed that men should be self-reliant— an idea he believes he picked up from Tom Cruise and other macho characters on TV and in movies.
Read more… (NBC News)
Related: Boys Talk
When teens hear about suicide, it’s scary. It’s also scary for their parents. With good reason: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24, after motor vehicle accidents.
It is important to let kids know that friends never let friends keep secrets about suicidal thoughts. They can, and must, tell an adult.
At the same time, parents and schools should emphasize that no child should ever feel responsible for the safety or well-being of another child, student or friend.
Read more… (Cleveland Clinic)
Related: Teen Talk
New Study Suggests It Might Make Symptoms Worse
A potential link between poor mental wellbeing and social media has long been posited, but let’s start with a vital caveat before getting into the latest study. Depression is a mental illness, one with a range of potential triggers, and it’s vital not to simplify or minimise it by simply branding it the result of too much Facebook. Does social media cause depression? That’s probably far too blunt a conclusion. But a new study suggests that reducing social media use might help those who already have the illness feel significantly less depressed — and cutting down can have a similarly major impact on loneliness.
Read more… (Bustle)