It has long been considered that promiscuity is a short-term solution to happiness at best. According to a study, teens who engage in casual sex are at a greater risk of suffering from depression than their more abstinent peers.
The study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, subjected a sample size of over 90,000 students to a series of questionnaires that surveyed their mental health and sexual activity.
Strong correlation between symptoms of depression and casual sex
The study included single teens who engaged in casual sex, single teens who were celibate, and teens in a relationship who were and were not celibate, including cheating. The results showed a strong correlation between symptoms of depression and casual sex in single teens, with cheaters showing a similar correlation.
Teens who practiced celibacy were rated the lowest for symptoms of clinical depression. Although it is not clear if it is depression that causes promiscuity or vice versa, the study suggested that promiscuity was most likely symptomatic of existing depression and that its signs were more pronounced in children under 15 years of age.
A reason that depression was caused due to promiscuity was because of sex’s effect on the pleasure centers of the brain, making it a natural form of self-medication. Depression stems from a chemical imbalance in the reward system of the brain, making anything that’s pleasurable a potential method of coping. Hence, the prevalence of co-occurring issues like mental health and substance abuse in teens and adults.
Preventing teen depression and promiscuity
Although stressing abstinence and enforcing it with negative reinforcement has historically been the standard answer for protecting kids from issues such as this, an increase in unwanted behavior has historically been teens’ response to this answer. A more effective method of prevention would involve sex education from the family, friends, teachers, and special sex-ed programs as well as being able to identify early signs of sex addiction and depression in teens.
Depression is characterized by a persistent sadness, low mood and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, causing significant impairment in one’s life. Signs of depression include:
Being able to identify promiscuousness or sex addiction is difficult. Changes in your teen’s behavior such as increased secrecy and time spent texting or surfing the internet (pornography and sex addictions are often co-occurring) may be indications. The most effective treatment will be to keep an open line of communication with the teen, making sure they are able to share their issues instead of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Seeking treatment for depression
In order to effectively prevent teens from turning to promiscuity as a coping mechanism for their depression, it is imperative that parents/guardians pay heed to depressive symptoms in teens and the negative ways in which they respond to it.
Adeona Healthcare, the leading renowned mental health care provider for adolescents aged between 12 to 17, offers evidence-based teen depression treatment. To know more about our rehab for teenage depression, call our 24/7 helpline 888-997-3966 and speak to a member from our admissions team. You can also chat online with a representative to know more about our teen depression rehab and the personalized treatment plans it offers.