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Teens, Sleep, Depression And Suicide

According to a study by researchers at Columbia University, teens whose parents let them go to bed past midnight were 24 percent more likely to be depressed and 20 percent more likely to have contemplated suicide than peers whose parents set bedtimes at or before 10 p.m.

The results were reported in the journal Sleep, and suggest earlier bedtimes may be protective because they increase the likelihood of getting enough sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), about 4,400 Americans between the ages of 10 and 24 commit suicide each year, making it the third-most common cause of death in the age group. This is also to be the group getting the least amount of sleep, which suggests a pretty logical correlation between suicide and lack of sleep.

Data from this study comes from 15,659 U.S. students, who were in grades seven to 12 between 1994 and 1996, and their parents. Seven percent of the teens were found to have depression and 13 percent said they seriously contemplated suicide during the preceding 12 months. The association was stronger for girls and older children. Read more »

This post, Teens, Sleep, Depression And Suicide, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Teen Girls And The “How I Look Journal”

The How I Look Journal was designed for middle school girls in 2007 (revised in 2009), and has been used primarily in group settings, although girls can use it by themselves. Counselors and therapists tend to use the topics as a basis for discussions and teachers prefer using the journal in lesson formats. There is also a companion journal (2009) for mothers called “How I Look at my Daughter, Her World, and Her Future.”

Given I had the week off I decided to review the copies I was sent and am delighted to say that my teenage daughters and I thought the journals are a great idea. The journal prompts help girls identify and celebrate their inner strengths and attributes, manage stress, accept their bodies and dream!

I found myself thinking that the self-talk section was very important as parents cannot hear what teens are saying to themselves in their own heads. We would like to believe that our kids are affirming their healthy and positive decisions and characteristics, but the reality may be that they are using “bully talk” to themselves, saying things like “I am dumb, ugly inconsiderate, mean …” These negative statements undermine their self-confidence, but are difficult to change, especially if they are reinforced by comments parents (inadvertently) make when annoyed.. Read more »

This post, Teen Girls And The “How I Look Journal”, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Half Of Teens Contract A Sexually Transmitted Disease Within 2 Years Of First Having Sex

This is a very scary reality. A recent study from the Indiana University School of Medicine suggests that half of young urban women will get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) shortly after sexual debut, while screening typically begins years later.

Researchers conducting the eight -year study found that by age 15, 25 percent of the adolescents in the study had acquired an STI, half within two years, and most often Chlamydia. The results also reflect a high repeat infection rate, with 25 percent of the teens getting at least one reinfection or other STI within 4 to 6 months.

The results, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine call for health practitioners to inquire about sexual activity and screen teens, preferably every 3 to 4 months.

This post, Half Of Teens Contract A Sexually Transmitted Disease Within 2 Years Of First Having Sex, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Top Five Signs of Common Mental Health Conditions

Disorders like depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and bipolar disorder all have warning signs. If you are concerned about these signs in yourself or others, talk to a trusted adult and get help!

Clinical Depression

  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia and trouble sleeping almost every night
  • Unable to focus on even simple activities
  • Extremely low energy
  • Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy Read more »

This post, Top Five Signs of Common Mental Health Conditions, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Television Violence Against Women On The Upswing

I guess the theme this week is “when things go wrong.” It seems like just when I think we are getting a grip on public health issues like smoking and violence against women, something appears to shake up my naive belief that we are making progress.

Last month the Parents Television Council (PTC) reported that incidents of violence against women on mainstream U.S. TV has increased by 1.2 times in the past five years with the depiction of teen girls as victims being four times as high as it was five years ago. This particular type of violence seems to be increasing at a higher rate than just regular violence, which makes it worse.

Singled out as the worst offender was Fox which the PTC said allows violence against women to be trivialized through punch lines in comedies like “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” Faring the best was ABC (that is, until the AMA Award show last week) which apparently was the only network not showing a dramatic increase in the number of stories that included beating, violent threats, shooting, rape, stabbing and torture. Read more »

This post, Television Violence Against Women On The Upswing, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

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