The most common high-risk behaviors among teenagers are smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, and computer addiction (National Research Council, 2011). Teenagers usually begin smoking in school, under peer pressure and influence, or simply out of curiosity. Alcohol abuse has similar roots, though usually appears in high school, closer to legal age. Teenagers try imitating adults by mimicking their worst habits. Computer addiction is a relatively new high-risk behavior, as it appeared with the creation of computers and smartphones (“Computer addiction,” n.d.).
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Teen depression is one of the most common psychological diagnoses in the USA. Its causes are not completely understood, but the scientific consensus associates it with rapid growth and going through puberty as well as moving away from the safety and security of the family and dealing with personal and social challenges (“Teen depression,” n.d.). Children from 13 to 19 are at risk of falling into teen depression. Common symptoms include the loss of appetite, a gloomy outlook on the world, secrecy and lack of trust, social inactivity, computer addiction, and depressive choices of music, movies, and literature (“Teen depression,” n.d.).
Depression, as well as many other mental disorders, can be diagnosed by visiting a psychotherapist, who would examine the child and provide a treatment plan. The standard approach includes psychological and medical treatments. Parents have an important role to play in spotting and guiding their children through depression (“Teen depression,” n.d.). The most important thing is to offer emotional support and understanding, as their child is going through a difficult phase in his or her life. Ignorance of the child’s wants and needs is what causes depression to become worse.
Computer addiction. (n.d.). Web.
National Research Council. (2011). The science of adolescent risk-taking: Workshop report. New York, NY: National Academies Press.
Teen depression. (n.d.). Web.