Internet Safety Rules-The Internet and Teen Depression
If you have a young child or teen exhibiting signs of depression, spending a lot of time online and withdrawing from their daily social activities this should sound an alarm for concerned parents.
While the Internet can be a wonderful tool for learning and socializing it can also lead to undesired habits over time and can cause withdraw from society for a good amount of teens. Teens can be lured into the cyber world as a way to escape from their daily real life world where they may feel dysfunctional. This slow withdraw from reality into the world of the Internet can be perceived as a safer environment for some teens that may feel like their problems are just too much to deal with.
Parents can monitor their kids for these signs of withdraw or mood changes, especially if their kids spend a high degree of their time spent online. If you notice changes in eating patterns, how they function at school, doors to bedrooms being locked or keep dark during the day while they are online or a sense of depression or hopelessness in their attitude then its time for a parent to step in and take action. Sometimes parents may be reluctant to see these signs in their child or admit that there is a problem but actions must be taken to help your child through these trying times.
At times the solutions may be as simple as open communication with your child, showing them love and helping them to get involved with more real world activities and social events. Other times this situation might signal early signs of mental illness which might be the last thing you would suspect. About 20% of teens do experience various types of psychiatric illness and sometimes it can be hard for a parent to distinguish this from usual teenage behavior. The lines can seem to be blurred at times.
The bottom line is if you feel your teen is experiencing an unusual amount of depressed behavior and increased use of the Internet as a method to escape then you most likely want to seek out professional help. A counselor , therapist or medical specialist can provide a parent with the information and action steps needed to take to get their children back to a healthier state of mind. Proactive intervention by parents can help to avoid a potential crisis and give your teen the loving support they need.
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