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Online bullying and teen depression: Dear parents, watch out for these warning signs

A number of teenage suicide cases have also been linked to online bullying.

Dear parents, your love, guidance, and support can help your teen overcome depression and get their life back on track.

If you have a teenager who uses social media on a daily basis, be careful. Studies say social media can cause depression and other problems in teens.

A new study has revealed boys are significantly more likely to experience all types of digital dating abuse and physical aggression, than girls . Students who were victimised offline are more likely to experience online abuse.

Many students who experienced digital dating abuse also reported depressive symptoms, according to the researchers. The study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence is led by Indian-origin researcher Sameer Hinduja from Florida Atlantic University in the US.

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Impact of online abuse on mental health

Reports say India has the highest amount of cyberbullying in the Asia-Pacific area. As per reports, 8 out of 10 teens in the country suffer from some form of online harassment.

Several studies have linked cyberbullying on social media to depression in teenagers. Teens who experience cyberbullying are more likely to suffer from poor sleep, which in turn raises levels of depression, found a University at Buffalo study.

One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry revealed that cyberbullying exacerbated symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in predisposed adolescents.

The study also suggestet that those who are already depressed or suffering from mental health issues are more likely to experience online bullying.

Teen depression may lead to a number of other mental health problems, including eating disorders and self-injury. Depression, resulting from online bullying also led to a number of teenage suicides.

Dear parents, your love, guidance, and support can help your teen overcome depression and get their life back on track.

Signs and symptoms of depression in teens

It may be difficult to differentiate between normal teenage growing pains and depression. Depression in teens can look very different from depression in adults. If your teen is depressed, you may notice these signs:

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

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