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Teens Engaging in Dicey Behaviors Are at Risk for Depression: Study

Pooja Pooja,Shimla, INDIA
Feb 3 2007, 4:38 am GMT

teens_50Teen girls, who spoil themselves with dicey behaviors, like sex and drugs are more susceptible to depression. While depressed girls who are abstinent, however, have lesser chances of engaging in any high-risk behavior.

A common belief about high-risk teens is that they use alcohol, drugs and sex to ‘self-medicate’ depressed feelings. But new research contradicts that widely-held notion, showing instead that alcohol, drugs and sex actually lead to depression, not the other way around.

After going through a series of examination, considering typical patterns found during adolescence and by examining gender differences, the researchers have discovered that sex and drug behavior predicted an increased likelihood of depression, but depression did not predict behavior.

Among girls, both experimental and high-risk behaviors predicted depression. Among boys, only high-risk behavior increased the odds of later depression.

Statistical data shows:

1. In 2003, 47% of high school students reported that during the past month, they had intercourse.

2. 45% accounted drinking alcohol.

3. 22% said that they had used marijuana.

4. Nearly, 1/3rd said that their feeling of hopelessness had kept then from doing normal activities over the past year.

College counselors have asserted that depression on college campuses has doubled over the past decade and that suicides have tripled too. And it is only the result of casual sexual intimacy.

Even if contraception and the prevention of disease transmission were 100% effective, which they most certainly are not, the psychological impact of meaningless because of casual sexual intimacy remains, particularly upon young females.

Urgent need:

There is a dire need of acquainting teens with the repercussions of the high-risk behaviors especially, the destructive effects of sexual promiscuity, which makes it a deplorable life for teens to survive.

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It is quite confident of Shimla Pooja to use such strong language about how teens “spoil themselves with dicey behaviors, like sex and drugs,” making them more vulnerable to depression, without providing any explanation for how this is done. I find it interesting that such bold statements are made in reference to teens engaging in risky behaviors, leading them towards an increased risk at depression, however no evidence is provided to back up this strong claim. For example, it states that new research contradicts the widely-held belief that unsafe or dangerous activities like alcohol, sex, and drugs is used to alleviate the already-existing depressed symptoms, and that it is in fact the other way around, however no research is actually sited or specified. While the entry states that sex and drug behavior predicted an increased likelihood of depression, it is impossible to state that one thing predicted another based on correlational data. Pooja states that increased rates in depression and suicide are “only the result of causal sexual intimacy.” Just because sex and drug use predates depression does not prove that one causes the other. Quite frequently in fact, depressed teens seek out drugs, alcohol, and even sex to escape from their depression and pain, and instead consume themselves with these troubles. It is important that one does not get caught up with what may seem like ‘new and improved’ research and disregard other possible explanations because both explanations are viable. It is valid, as stated, that teens must be familiar with and knowledgeable about the potentially dangerous consequences of these behaviors, and that is why education about sex and drugs will be more effective in delaying these experiences than a lack of such education.

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