Teen Depression Becoming More Common in Boys
Sad but true, statistics show that more and more teen boys are living with depression. What was once thought to be more of a teen girl issue, has noticeably been seen in many teen boys. With rates of anxiety disorders and depression up among teen boys, depression among males is nearly as it is among females in this age group.
Teen boys are learning and trying to become men. They get ideas about how to do this through television, movies, books, friends, and from older men. Many of these examples portray individuals who don’t have emotional problems that look like depression. Because of that, teen boys don’t feel like confronting their depression because it doesn’t seem “manly” or sometimes even allowed. This can make detecting and treating teen depression difficult.
Further, unlike female teens who may cry or express emotions outwardly, teen boys generally hold their feelings inside. Their depression may be expressed as anger or outbursts. Sometimes teen boys detach or can’t concentrate but more often, they hide their feelings or ignore them when they are feeling depressed. Also, most may not realize they are dealing with depression. Instead, because of what has been portrayed to them by society of what is “manly,” they may just feel weak and attempt to hide the feelings of frailty they are dealing with.
According to rightstep.com, “Boys ignore depression by zoning out in TV or video games. They ignore it by spending hour upon hour in their room listening to music. Rarely will adolescent boys verbalize their struggles. Instead (they adopts a mask to cover the pain (they are) feeling.”
Today’s teen boys are facing unprecedented stresses from many directions. Not only do many of them live in homes with divorced parents, step-siblings, and back and forth visitation, there is also less certainty about the careers and future jobs than there once was. Some teens may feel depressed about what lies ahead in their future.
Although there is a rise in depression among teen boys, there is much that can be done to solve the problem and help these boys regain confidence and happiness in their lives. Awareness and prevention are important; being open with your teen boy and having conversations about what depression entails can help him identify and seek help if it is needed.