Beauty & Wellness Lifestyle

Teenagers who pay increased attention to sad faces likely to develop depression: Study

Teenage is a very tender age to feel heightened emotions and increased response to environmental stimuli. Teens are also at a greater risk of pandemic that is causing destruction around the world. A recent study showed that teens who pay more attention to sad faces can get depressed easily.

Shivani Shukla

Researchers at Binghamton University found that teenagers who pay more attention to sad faces get depressed at a faster rate. Studyled by graduate student Cope Feurer and Professor of Psychology Brandon Gibb, aimed to examine whether attentional biases to emotional stimuli, assessed via eye-tracking, serve as a marker of risk for depression for teenagers. It further revealed that when teenagers pay more attention to negative stimuli they are going to be more stressed and therefore leading to depression. For example, if two teenagers both have a fight with a friend and one teenager spends more time paying attention to negative stimuli (i.e., sad faces) than the other, then that teenager may show greater increases in depressive symptoms in response to the stressor, potentially because they are paying more attention to the stressor and how the stressor makes them feel.

The teenage brain finds it difficult to control negative stimuli coming from negative emotions this causes the brain to focus more on depressing things in the surrounding making it impossible to get away from it. Teenagers feel powerless against negative emotions as they are ill equipped to handle them. Society thought patterns, and friend circle can lead to depression in teenagers. There are many triggers to teenage depression including family history, learning disabilities, violence, neighborhood incidences, hormonal changes affecting mood and physical illness. Any of this can lead to teenage depression.

All teenage depression starts with some warning signs like hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of energy, sleeping too less or too much, anxiety, panic, negative views of the world, irritability, difficulty in concentrating and remembering. These may develop as a disorder to a teenager. But most of them can be resolved through medication and counseling.

Depression is a common mental health problem in the modern world. Teens are mostly affected by it if they pay more attention towards sadness and negativity. But the good news is that it is curable. A professional health care provider can cure the symptoms. However negative thought patterns can be monitored by a counselor at school or at the hospital. A good counselor establishes a rapport with the teenager to cure the root cause of depression and change behavior patterns that is caused due to reacting to the stressor. Nowadays many NGOs and self-help groups are coming forward with remedies.

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