Depression |

Teen Depression and Smoking, Drinking, Sleeping, and Exercising

Posted on 09. May, 2014 by in Disorders

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an organization that works to protect the citizens of the United States from health, safety, and security threats. The CDC does their best to counter disease (physical and psychological) as well as supports communities and organizations that have the same mission.

Along these lines, they maintain a website that is filled with information on behaviors that might lead to certain diseases. For instance, there are four adverse behaviors that teens are likely to engage in that might contribute to depression.

Although it is still not clear whether these behaviors are performed as a result of the illness or whether they cause the illness. However, a relationship clearly exists. These behaviors are smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and sleep disturbance. Furthermore, as seen in this list, these are behaviors teens might typically engage in regardless of the presence of depression. For this reason, adolescents can be more at risk for depression than other age groups.

Smoking: Depression is associated with an increased risk for smoking. Research has found that smoking is often a behavior that depressed teens and adults engage in as a way to self-medicate. The study found that nicotine receptors in the brain actually improved mood in certain types of depression. The study found that those who smoke are more likely to have symptoms of depression than those who do not.

Drinking Alcohol: There are many health risks that are associated with early drinking. When teens begin to drink they are vulnerable to addiction and relapse, as well as to psychological illness, including depression. Studies indicate that when teens or young adults left treatment, it was negative feelings and thoughts that led to relapse. The research led to associating negative emotional experiences (depression) with drinking relapses.

Lack of Physical Exercise: This is a factor that can both contribute to depression as well as become a habit when a teen is already depressed. According to the web, adolescent exercise has gone down 41%. Certainly, the use of technology, such as playing on the Ipad versus playing in the back yard, must have its influence on how much exercise teens are getting. In fact, according to the CDC, studies have found that the presence of depression is linked to the transition from active to inactive lifestyles. This information is helpful to parents and caregivers because symptoms of depression will reduce or go away entirely with increased exercise for those who are not clinically depressed.

Sleep Disturbance: This is another factor that can both contribute to depression as well as become a habit when a teen is already depressed. Changes in sleep patterns (over sleeping and under sleeping) are often a symptom of depression. This is true regardless of age. However, one study indicates that for 12 year olds and 16 year olds, sleep disturbances was linked to self-reported depression in adolescence.

When one thinks of adolescence, they might easily associate these four behaviors to being a teenager. Certainly, this is true for smoking, drinking, and a change in sleeping habits. There might be a change in physical exercise regime when the need for social engagement increases during adolescence. For instance, as mentioned above, instead of playing outside, a teen might be on the computer, chatting with a friend. Or he or she might on the phone with friends versus playing at the park.



(October 4, 2013). Depression as a Correlate of Adverse Health Behaviors. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on May 5, 2014 from



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