News & Politics

Talking About Troubles Makes Teens More Depressed, Says Study


For our many teen and pre-teen readers who come for the daily nudes and slideshows, here’s some advice from Lisa R. Starr, M.A. (pictured, r.) of Stony Brook University: it you got worry, talking it over with your friends may make you more depressed and anxious. She and Dr. Joanne Davila have been looking at girls in the 7th and 8th grades, and find in an article for the Journal of Adolescence that “excessive discussion” of romantic and other problems, which they call “co-rumination,” can actually “lead to depressive symptoms” unless the peers with whom they discuss their troubles “have strong problem-solving skills,” which (we add) is unlikely. And there’s a technology angle: “Texting, instant messaging, and social networking make it very easy for adolescents to become even more anxious which can lead to depression.” They counsel further study, but their findings suggest that maybe saddened adolescents, like many adults, simply enjoy wallowing in depression. We prescribe ice cream and crying jags; the short memory that is the blessing of youth should take care of the rest.

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