Mental Health a Prevailing Problem in Today’s Youth

by Cooper Lewis – Photographer

For young adults ages 15-24 suicide if the third leading cause of death, and for kids 10-14 it is the second. It is unbelievable that kids as young as ten want to kill themselves. Depression plays a huge role in this. 20% of teenagers are affected by depression and only 30% of them get treated for it. Now these numbers seem relatively low but in the case of death it is terrifying. Kids and teenagers are the key to our future.

Depression is a mental illness that can occur naturally but can also be caused by things such as family situations and social life however the most leading reason is drug addiction. While some people turn to drugs in times of depression (which just worsens the problem) certain substances such as alcohol and cigarettes have chemicals that when constantly taken in high doses can alter the chemicals in your brain. People who abuse these substances are six times more likely to commit suicide than non-drug users, and 90% of suicidal teens abuses some sort of substances.

The problem with suicide isn’t necessarily a substance its self but the addiction and the moderation the drug is taken in. Even without a mental illness drugs and alcohol are the second risk for suicide, depression and other mental illness being the first. The problem is that people are not getting treated for their problems. One in seven people become addicted to drugs but only one in ten get the treatment they need, it is the same with suicide (30% going untreated).

“If you only treat the depression without treating the chemical dependency, you will not be successful in really helping the person.” Dr. Jeffrey Bornestein says. The solution for depression is to treat it and promote awareness of depression and substance abuse. Signs of depressions are low self-esteem, sluggishness, disinterest of most things, lack of eating or sleeping and of course substance abuse. These are just a few signs of depression and if you or anybody you know show these signs seek help from a therapist or doctor or call a suicide hotline. (1-800-273-8255)

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