Vitamin E Vitamin E


Why Teen Mental Health Experts Are Focused on '13 Reasons Why'

Teenage suicide and mental health issues have been pushed into the spotlight by a controversial new series on NetFlix. As reported by CNN, “13 Reasons Why” is the tale of a girl who sends out 13 cryptic audio tapes after committing suicide. The show has been criticized for its portrayal of suicide and its failure to address such a serious issue in a comprehensive manner. Critics have gone so far as to say that the show could pose a risk to children with suicidal ideation and other mental health issues.

Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be devastating to adolescents, who are already going through one of the most emotionally turbulent life stages. It's understandable why well-meaning parents would turn to prescription medications in an attempt to give their child some relief, especially since such drugs are heavily promoted and often used as a first-line treatment by psychiatrists and other doctors.

However, many are not aware, nor do their doctors tell them, that such drugs often do not work, particularly in children and teens. Worse yet, youth who take antidepressant medications may be at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

If you or your child is experiencing severe depression or anxiety, please seek help from a professional. For milder cases, and in addition to professional treatment for severe cases, the place to start is to return balance — to your body and your life. If you're currently taking antidepressants or anxiety medications and wish to stop, you should wean off them gradually under the care of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Exercise boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. The Emotional Freedom Techniques can be very effective by helping you to actually reprogram your body's reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life. This includes both real and imagined stressors, which can be significant sources of anxiety. 

In addition to being high in sugar and grains, processed foods also contain a variety of additives that can affect your brain function and mental state, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial sweeteners. A final suggestion is to get an ample amount of rejuvenating sleep. You can have the best diet and exercise program possible, but if you aren't sleeping well you can easily become depressed.
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