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Cyber bullying worsens depression and sleep problems in teens
Oct 22 2019

Cyber bullying worsens depression and sleep problems in teens

Mental Health

Cyberbullying is an act of sending mean, threatening, or embarrassing messages to someone or about someone via text, direct message, email, or online posts. Cyberbullying can get very intimidating for a victim and can greatly affect their mental health, leading to negative outcomes like anxiety, depression, or panic attacks. However, not many people are forthcoming about their mental illnesses. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 49.5 percent adolescents aged between 13 to 18 suffer from a mental health disorder. Irrespective of such high occurrence, these mental illnesses are accompanied by stigma and people shy away from seeking help for fear of being ostracized.

According to a study carried out by the University at Buffalo (UB), cyberbullying triggers poor sleep patterns in teens which is responsible for increasing the levels of depression in them. Even though researchers in the past have investigated the relationship between depression and online bullying, the present study is the first of its kind to explore an association between sleep quality and cyber victimization. The study authors investigated over 800 adolescents for assessing their depression, cyber aggression, and sleep quality.

Depression may severely affect quality of life

The findings of the study were presented by lead author Misol Kwon, Ph.D. scholar from the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, at the 33rd SLEEP annual meeting 2019, held in Texas. Dr. Kwon shared that teens today engage actively in digital media platforms because of which ill-treatment is rampant on social media and the internet. This is paving the way for a unique, yet serious form of peer victimization, causing a surge in mental health disorders in the teen population. She further added that developing an understanding of these trends can be helpful in providing sleep hygiene support and risk prevention and interventions to maltreated children who exhibit characteristics of teen depression.

According to the U.S. Office of Adolescent Health, approximately one-third of U.S. teens have struggled with the symptoms of depression which comprises social withdrawal, anger, and persistent irritability. Moreover, bullying has been reported by nearly 15 percent of high school students.

Bullying may give rise to or aggravate the symptoms of depression that may have serious repercussions like impaired relationships, messed up performance at school, and even suicide. This prompted the researchers to explore the effects of risk factors such as sleep quality which could easily worsen the symptoms of the disorder.

Road to recovery

Cyberbullying can have a debilitating impact on a child’s mental health and if swept under the rug, it can have a serious impact on their adult life as well. While it is important to teach teens how to use social media safely, it is also important to be on a lookout for symptoms of mental health disorders in them. Therefore, if a child shows symptoms of being withdrawn, anxious, depressed, fearful, or irritated, it is important to seek professional help at the earliest.

If you notice a teen displaying the symptoms of a mental health disorder, then you need to seek help from a facility that specializes in teen mental health treatment. Adeona Healthcare, a renowned mental health care provider for adolescents aged between 12 and 17, offers research-based treatment protocols for teen mental health disorders. To know more about our teen depression treatment centers, call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline 888-997-3966 and speak to a representative. You can also chat online to get more information about behavioral and mental health problems and treatments offered at our safe and secure state-of-the-art teen depression treatment center.