Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Teenagers with a brighter outlook on life may be less likely to fall into depression, a new study suggests. The study, which followed more than 5,600 Australian teens, found that those with the most optimistic views of themselves and the world around them were less likely to develop symptoms of depression over the following year. These days, teens go through all sorts of issues and try to hold themselves up to the "social standards". Whether it be exams, peer rejection, or even family turmoil, teens find themselves in situations they can’t handle well and the outcome may be a teen who is yelling at others, grumpy, easily frustrated, defiant, or quick to snap at parents' benign comments, in other words, showing symptoms of depression. Studies have shown that teens with a more positive perspective on life may in fact be less susceptible to such matters and react in a different matter. But is optimism really affective when it comes to depression?

The students completed questionnaires that gauged their tendency to have an "optimistic thinking style." One-quarter were judged to have a "very high" level of optimism: they generally saw the world and other people as good, liked themselves and felt like they had a bright future. These positive-thinking teens were less likely to report depression symptoms at the study's start. About 15 percent of the teens with the highest level of optimism also scored high enough on a standard questionnaire to suggest at least mild depression. That compared with 59 percent of boys and 76 percent of girls with "very low" optimism levels who showed signs of depression. More importantly, the researchers say, the most optimistic teens were half as likely to report new depression symptoms one year later, compared with their least-positive peers. The findings do not prove that optimism itself wards off depression. And it's not clear why the relationship exists. Issues that influence optimism may be childhood history, upbringing, sibling relationship, etc. "We don't really know why some teens are more optimistic than others, and how teachable optimism is," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. George C. Patton of the University of Melbourne and Royal Children's Hospital in Australia. But the fact is that if optimism is likely to help with depression than it is an issue that teens should be more aware of. Some ways we can help our teens to be more optimistic is to teach them that:

"Anything is possible."
"My circumstances do not create me, I create my circumstances."
"The only thing I can control is my attitude towards life."
"I always have a choice."
"I choose to live my positive side of life."

It’s not known for sure if optimistic teens will be free of depression, but a positive outlook is more affective in lifestyle choices, social behavior, and overall growth than a negative one.

Optimistic or not “growing pains” are to be expected as teenagers grapple with the challenges of growing up and mild depression may occur. Parents must be vigilant to dramatic, long-lasting changes in personality, mood, or behaviors as these may indicate deeper problem. If you’re unsure if an adolescent in your life is depressed or just “being a teenager,” consider how long the symptoms have been present, how severe they are and how different the teen is acting from his or her usual self. Consulting with a professional will help you in making a decision on how to help your teen. Left untreated, teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing - even irreversible tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide.

Inspirations for Youth and Families a nationally recognized, licensed residential treatment center, for teens ages 14 to 18 and their families specializing in treating teens suffering from depression and other destructive behaviors. Inspirations’ teen treatment center focuses on all aspects of teen behavioral issues. Our teen treatment programs are designed around a positive environment to boost the teens’ self-esteem and produce long term results.

For more information:
Depression Treatment Programs for Teens:1-888-757-6237

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Fantastic Blog, it’s so helpful to me, and your blog is very good,
    I’ve learned a lot from your blog here, Keep on going, my friend, I will keep an eye on it,
    Teenage Depression