What are Teen Help Chat Rooms?

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In this blog, we will discuss what are teen help chat rooms, what is teen depression, the symptoms & causes of depression in teens, platforms providing teen help through chat room features, and how parents can support their teens’ mental health. 

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What are Teen Help Chat Rooms?

Teen help chatrooms refer to those chatrooms that are exclusively present to provide help and support to adolescents and teenagers as teenage years are a very turbulent phase of one’s life because you are going through so many changes.

These changes include your physical changes, sexual changes, mental changes, figuring out who you are, forming peer groups and friendships, figuring out a career path, etc.

Let us explore it in the further section in detail. 

What is Teen Depression? 

Teen depression remains a serious medical issue that is often ignored and rejected in the name of frivolity. 

It creates a plethora of feelings of sadness and loss for teenagers and can hinder their emotional, mental as well as physical well-being. While depression can occur at any point in life, the causes and symptoms can vary between teens and adults.

Pressure from the peer circle, expectations to ace in the academic arena, and of course changing bodies can be too much to deal with all of a sudden for teens, whereas for some, the downs are way more serious and stay longer than temporary feelings – they are the inklings of depression.

And just like adult depression can not be overcome by sheer willpower nor can be teen depression. Just like adult depression, teen depression needs to be treated with either medication or psychotherapy or a combination of both , taking a CBT approach.

Symptoms of depression in teenagers

The symptoms of depression can alter a teenager’s behavior and his attitude in general and can create a heap of problems at home or school or in the social circle. Some examples of emotional changes are mentioned as follows:

●       Prolonged sad emotions which can cause weeping without any reason

●       Feeling suffocated and frustrated and angry and losing temper over small issues

●       Hopelessness and feeling empty and vague about the future and life , in general.

●       Feeling annoyed

●       Lack of interest in the activities which they used to enjoy earlier

●       Lesser to no interest in the family, social circle, or peer group

●       Reduced self-esteem

●       Feeling worthless and guilty

●       Recalling past failures again and again and hence blazing yourself for them.

●       Feeling very sensitive towards criticisms of others or being very afraid of rejections and craving for a constant need of reassurance

●       Difficulty in concentrating over studies or in classes and always being unable to decide

●       Thoughts about harming yourself or suicidal ideation

●       Feeling less energetic

●       Sleeping either too less or too much

●       increased/decreased appetite accompanied by weight gain/loss respectively

●       Developing addiction to drugs or alcohol

●       The restlessness of body and being unable to sit still

●       Feeling as if your body is moving slower than usual

●       Psychosomatic pains – body aches in different places or headaches for no apparent reason

●       Forming a bubble around yourself and feeling isolated

●       Absenteeism in school and decreased performance in school

●       The sudden disruptive outburst of anger

Parents and dealing with teen depression

Since adolescence is a rocky age and it can become confusing to parents if it is normal for teens to have such ups and downs or it is a mental health issue, parents must make a friendly relationship with their children and try to talk to them about how they feel and think, if it seems it is overwhelming them very much you might want to consider seeing a doctor.

You can refer to your teen’s school counselor as well as your teen’s pediatrician or a family doctor or a general physician. 

Depression is not likely to get better on its own so it is important that you consult the respective professional for a solution and if it is left untreated for a long time, suicidal ideation can intensify thereby risking your teen children’s life.

Causes of depression 

The causes are not really known, as to what exactly causes depression is still a mystery which is being probed in, but the following can be a few possible reasons:

●       Lack of respective neurotransmitters responsible for balancing the mood, if the nerve receptors or nervous system alters, it can lead to depression.

●       The altercation in hormone balance can also cause depression.

●       Genetics plays an important role, if people in your bloodline have had mental health problems, you’re likely to be prone to them too.

●       Trauma inherited during childhood or any form of abuse can trigger depression too.

What are teen help chat rooms?

There are various organizations that create a stage for teenagers to share and voice out their mental health concerns with teenagers who suffer from similar issues. 

The chat rooms remain moderated and this is made sure that the young users follow a protocol and do not disrespect the other members of the chatrooms.

Although these chat rooms are not an alternative or a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment, they can be of aid to many teens who wish to share their concerns with like-minded teens, a  platform for a supportive community perhaps.

And not just depression, the chat rooms welcome teens with other mental health problems like bipolar disorder or anorexia, or bulimia. There are chat rooms that are free and nonprofit, independent, moderated by a volunteer. 

While forums for depression also exist which are also moderated by volunteers but house more than 70,000 members.

Depression sanctuaries also are nonprofit organizations, a moderated platform that offers people to seek support from other people going through similar illnesses but membership is compulsory to participate in the chat rooms but can be joined for absolutely free.

Some teens have trouble sharing their emotions in face-to-face conversations, hence for them, anonymity can be a perk, with a better comfort level. With that being stated, it shouldn’t act as a substitute for real-life therapy. 

You mustn’t spend too much time in chat rooms and neglect your family and friends altogether. If this is happening you must consult with your parents or someone you trust about how your face-to-face conversations are being disrupted and you can see a therapist and work through your issues. 

Platforms providing Teen help and support

There are support groups like Therapy Tribes which are quite advanced in social networking and have a regular activity stream, chatrooms, and forums. 

The organization claims to be therapeutic and more than just an organization but a wellness community for mental health support. The therapy topics offered by the Tribe are ADHD, child counseling, divorce counseling, OCD counseling, parenting therapy, and more.

While there are many chat rooms for teens to find mental and social space, parents can for obvious reasons feel skeptical and worried about chat rooms, in lieu of losing the grip over their children’s interactions. 

The Internet can be a wondrous place full of information and knowledge and of course a communication tool for so many, it can also be risky for naive young teens. 

Teens accidentally have reported being introduced to pornography on websites that appear normal but turn out to be unsolicited and explicit and such kids can not comprehend the violence they face.

Sadly, online predators are always there who are forever looking for naive unsusceptible teens to take advantage, if you feel vulnerable / discomfort/ashamed by someone, report that person to the moderator or immediately block them.

Parental Support in teenage issues

It is the responsibility of parents to safeguard their children from risks that lurk outside in the world which is becoming all the more dangerous with each day. Parents must talk to their teens about their usage of the web and should brief them of the unseemingly things which are present on the internet. 

Your child mustn’t be absolutely oblivious to unsavory dangers on the internet, it is your job to beware of them. Once you talk to them about this, you can establish more guidelines for them about using the internet.

While it is true that we as parents are bound ethically to provide and respect the privacy of our children, allowing access to the internet in their bedrooms is not part of the clause that needs to be fulfilled. 

You should try placing the desktop/laptop in their spaces that are visited by everyone in your household, like the dining room, common area, or kitchen, where you can sneak over your shoulder and check which websites your children are visiting.

And along with this, for added assurance and security, you can also purchase an internet filtering software that can block websites that are dangerous or objectionable or post censored content and allow parental monitoring.

Parents and children can also sign a contract which is called an “internet use contract” stating whatever sites your child is allowed to use and the duration for which they are permitted to stay online. Both parents and children can sign up for this contract and agree on the results of it being violated.

 Frequently asked questions (FAQs): What are Teen Help Chat Rooms?

Which age group has the highest rate of depression?

Adults from age 18-29 have a 21.0% rate of depression, which is the highest and lowest being for those aged 30-44 rating up to 16.8%

What percentage of teenage girls are depressed?

Depression, suicidal ideation, and self-harm have increased in teenage boys since the last decade but the case of major depressive disorder has been aggravating in teen girls more, ranging from 12% in 2011 to 20% in 2017.

How does depression affect the teenage brain?

Adolescents who are depressed are likely to feel gushes of sadness, lack of interest in activities – academic or social, feeling guilty or worthless, lack of energy- feeling drained, feeling annoyed or irritable,  sleep pattern disruption, isolation, and suicidal ideation.

Can school cause depression in teens?

Teens are pressured academically to score well as they move up in classes so as to get into college to secure their future and if the culture of their school is toxic and very pressuring then yes they are likely to be more prone to depression or anxiety.

Can growth spurt cause depression?

Puberty induces changes in body – physically and internally i.e, a change in the production of hormones. In case of a hormonal imbalance – caused by – early development or late development , yes depression can occur.

Can I talk to someone about my problems online for free?

Yes, you can talk to someone about your problems online for free. There are various platforms like 7Cups, eTherapypro, BlahTherapy, etc. There are also various online chat rooms and support groups that can be a safe space for you to vent out and gain support for your problems and have a community but all this is not a replacement to therapy and if you are having a tough time, it is advised to see your therapist in order to discuss your issues and work on them in a proper manner. 

References:

Get mental wellness support for teenagers https://www.7cups.com/teen-chat-support/

Joining a chat room to help with depression https://www.verywellmind.com/depression-chat-rooms-1067331

Therapy tribe support group https://support.therapytribe.com/teen-support-group/

Teen Depression https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/teen-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20350985

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