Depression in teenagers has risen during the COVID pandemic. According to the Mental Health of America, as many as 2.2 million teens deal with depression, and that number rose by thousands during the pandemic.
The amount of students who experienced a depressive episode in CCHS rose compared to other years.
“I don’t know what that number is right now, but there was an increase of depression and anxiety,” Lead counselor Tiffany Rhodriquez said.
According to healthline, many teens believe their increased anxiety and depressive thoughts are linked to the quarantine and the lack of physical contact.
“Well after the covid situation, I’ve been at home a lot more and that only left room for me to think rather than being distracted with other things,” senior Jada Morris said. “Covid has opened up more opportunities for my depressing thoughts.”
Some students who are dealing with both anxiety and depression found quarantine to be a less stressful environment.
“I actually felt better,” senior Jacquelyn Martinez said. “My depression and anxiety go hand in hand, so being able to be at home, which is my safe place, all the time felt really comfortable. I didn’t have to be constantly around people.”
Some teens used a common social media platform as a means of communication, and as a way to distract themselves from their depressive thoughts.
“When I get my depressive episodes I tend to stop talking to a lot of people, so I’ll actually move away from social media like Instagram or Snapchat,” Morris said. “I try to distract myself so I use social media like TikTok that is less interactive.”
A study conducted in Belgium published by the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking journal, found that technology was a constant reminder of the pandemic and projected feelings of negativity amongst teens.
“A higher feeling of loneliness among the participants predicted social media use to keep in touch with peers and family, but it was not associated with happiness. Pearson’s correlations even showed a significant negative correlation between using social relations cope and happiness.”
The study also found that teens by using technology as a medium to transmit their thoughts, they were able to cope and improve their mood.
“It was the most beneficial strategy to use social media to self-regulate mood during the lockdown.”