Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

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Inside Teen Minds: Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders

Inside+Teen+Minds%3A+Anxiety%2C+Depression%2C+Eating+Disorders

From the relentless worry of generalized anxiety disorder to the profound despair of depression and the complex struggles of eating disorders, these three conditions deeply impact teenagers’ lives.

Anxiety:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and excessive worry that extends over time and is almost constantly present. This chronic state of stress can significantly impair an individual’s ability to function daily, affecting various aspects such as work, relationships, and overall well-being.

Several factors can contribute to the development of generalized anxiety disorder. These include health issues, such as chronic illness or medical conditions, and environmental stressors like familial, professional, or social pressures. Additionally, lifestyle choices such as excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, or drugs can exacerbate symptoms. Genetic predisposition may also play a role in some cases, with individuals having a family history of anxiety disorders being more likely to experience it. “Both of my parents are anxious people, so I had a lot more chances to also suffer from anxiety. I was diagnosed at the age of 12 years old,” said a teenage girl.

Individuals with generalized anxiety may experience a wide range of symptoms that can manifest both physically and psychologically. These symptoms may include fatigue, headaches, trouble sleeping, dizziness or feeling faint, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and a feeling of choking. Other common symptoms include flushing or chills, high blood pressure, tremors, chest pain, feelings of loss of control, numbness or tingling, difficulty concentrating, and persistent fears of dying.

If left untreated, generalized anxiety disorder can lead to serious complications that significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Severe anxiety can result in agitation, intense fatigue, difficulty concentrating, signs of irritability, muscle tension, and disturbed sleep patterns. These symptoms can further exacerbate the individual’s anxiety, creating a vicious cycle that further perpetuates their distress.

Depression:

Depressive disorders, commonly referred to as depression, are mental health conditions that can affect individuals across all age groups. Research indicates that approximately 2.8% of teenagers and  37% of young adults aged 18-24 experience depressive disorders, highlighting the pervasive nature of this condition.

Depressive disorders can arise from a variety of factors, including significant life events, illnesses, changes in the individual’s environment, or a family history of depression. These disruptive elements can trigger a lot of symptoms that contribute to the development of depressive episodes.

The symptoms of depressive disorders encompass a wide range of emotional and physical manifestations. Individuals experiencing depression may endure persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness. They may also lose interest in activities that once brought them joy, experience changes in weight or appetite, and suffer from fatigue or energy loss. Other common symptoms include thoughts of death or suicide, poor concentration, and difficulty making decisions.

Depression poses significant risks to the individual’s well-being, with potential complications including the emergence of dark or suicidal thoughts, as well as self-harming behaviours. The profound despair and hopelessness experienced during depressive episodes can lead to a heightened risk of self-harm or suicide attempts, making depression one of the most dangerous mental health conditions.

Eating disorder:

An eating disorder is an “abnormal” eating practice associated with psychological suffering, which takes hold over the long term. Eating disorders can develop in a person following comments about appearance, because of too much social, cultural, family, or emotional pressure, a genetic and biological predisposition, or certain people who have experienced major drama or stress. “People would always make comments about my body. It was the main cause of me developing an eating disorder,” said a fifteen-year-old. 

Psychological signs may include preoccupation with body image, intense fear of weight gain or loss, distorted self-image, susceptibility to comments and criticism about appearance, and a pervasive sense of losing control over one’s life and inability to manage eating behaviours. Individuals may also exhibit behavioural cues such as tendencies towards dieting, binge-eating episodes, purging behaviours like vomiting or excessive exercise, and the development of strict food rules or rituals.

Physical indicators encompass sudden weight fluctuations, sensitivity to cold, cessation or irregularities in menstruation, signs of frequent vomiting such as dental erosion or calluses on knuckles, fainting or dizziness, fatigue, and a pallid or jaundiced complexion. Additionally, individuals may engage in slow, ritualistic eating habits and deny feelings of hunger.

The consequences of these disorders extend beyond the physical but also psychological such as depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and social withdrawal. Left untreated, eating disorders can lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular problems, electrolyte imbalances, osteoporosis, and even death.

Resources:

Tels-jeunes:

Text: 514 600-1002

Call: 1 800-263-2266

 

Jeunesse, j’écoute:

Call: 1 800-668-6868.

 

Aire ouverte (to take an appointment):

Call: 819 536-4848

Text:  819 852-3743

 

Mental health and suicide crisis helpline:

Call: 988

 

Maison L’éclaircie (eating disorders):

Call: 418 650-1076

 

ANEB (eating disorders):

Call: 514 630-0907 or 1 800 630-0907

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About the Contributor
Ève-Sara Beauregard
Ève-Sara is a very sporty and energetic girl. She has been in the school volleyball team since she’s in sec. 1, and she is also a gymnast. She also loves to ski. Ève-Sara is a nice, strong, funny and generous girl. She is always there for the others and loves to help people. She’s also a very understanding person. Her dream career is to become a criminologist.

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