Depression is not easy to deal with. It was reported that about 800,000 people commit suicide all over the world. Some of them do it because they feel depressed and they do not know how to deal with this condition. Moreover, family or friends sometimes fail to take it seriously, which can have devastating consequences and even prove fatal for the person involved.
It was recently reported that teenagers, especially Goths, are more likely to feel depressed than their peers. A study that was published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry reveals that the teens belonging to this group are twice more at risk of becoming depressed by the age of 18 compared to other teenagers who regarded themselves as loners or “skaters”.
The study aimed to look at the mental health of group identity in British teenagers. It was shown that the category of young people that was the least likely to be depressed consisted of adolescents who did a lot of sport.
However, the authors of the study warn that it would be very wrong to conclude that adolescents who feel they belong to the “emo” category will definitely become depressed or hurt themselves. Even if psychic contagion is something common, especially with teenagers, psychological contagion is a very different thing.
The tendency towards self-harm is actually a very serious matter because it has to do with the inability to cope with emotional pain. Thus, the adolescents who have a profound sense of alienation or marginalization could feel the need to belong to certain types of groups that defy social norms in general.
The study took into account more than 5,300 children from Great Britain. These were followed from birth until they were 16. When they became 15, they were asked questions related to the sort of group they best identified with. They had to chose from Goths, popular kids, sporty, loners, skaters and bimbos.
More than a tenth of the ones interviewed (about 12 percent) said they believed they belonged to the goth subculture. It was shown that these kids were more likely to have a mother who suffered from depression and to report that they had been bullied when they were younger.
By the time they were15, about 25 percent of them said that they were already engaged in self-harming behavior. Only 10 percent of the teenagers belonging to other groups reported the same.
Moreover, by the time they turned 18, about 18 percent of the Goths had been diagnosed with depression and as much as 37 percent had engaged in self-injury.
“Working with youths in the goth community to identify those at risk of depression and self-harm and provide support might be effective. Public campaigns to reduce stigma and aggression targeted to individuals from diverse subcultures might also be important,” said the authors of the study.
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