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Mental Health News | November 15-21

Table of Contents

Summary

This week we cover two studies. One that shows that teens are feeling more unhappy and depressed while the other shows that teens are feeling less depressed and lonely. Also, did you know that decorating for christmas can improve your mental health? Finally, video games might not be as harmful as we thought.

Teens Feel Suffocated in Covid Isolation

Remote learning, lockdowns, and pandemic uncertainty have increased anxiety and depression among adolescents and heightened concerns about their mental health.

On 14-year-old student said: “I felt like I was trapped in my own little house and everyone was far away. When you’re with friends, you’re completely distracted and you don’t think about the bad stuff going on. During the beginning of quarantine, I was so alone. All the sad things I used to brush off, I realized I couldn’t brush them off anymore.”

Research shows that adolescents depend on their friendships to maintain a sense of self-worth and to manage anxiety and depression. A recent study of 3,300 high school students found that nearly one-third reported feeling unhappy or depressed in recent months.

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Research Show Gaming Can Benefit Mental Health

A study from Oxford University has suggested that people who played more video games tended to report greater “wellbeing.” This finding has cast further doubt on reports that video gaming can harm mental health.Thanks to the internet-connected nature of the games, the Oxford University team was able to link up psychological questionnaires with true records of time spent playing games, making the study more accurate than its predecessors.

However, the study was fairly limited by only analyzing two games: Animal Crossing and Plants vs Zombies. This caused the researchers to emphasize that it is likely that some games could have a negative impact on mental health. 

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Putting Up Christmas Decorations Early Can Help Boost Mental Health

Decorating for Christmas introduces new sensory elements such as light, color, and sound have the ability to boost our mental health and mood. 

Nostalgia also plays into the positive vibes we get from decorating for the holidays mostly because it’s tied to optimism. In fact, just pulling out decor that reminds you of a happy season or memory can instantly boost our mood.

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Survey Suggests Teen’s Mental Health Did Not Collectively Suffer During The Pandemic

San Diego State University Professor of Psychology, Jean Twenge, fielded a survey of 1,523 U.S. teens from May to July this year. The survey asked about the teen’s mental health, family time, sleep, technology use, and views on the race-related protests and the police.

The results were analyzed by categorizing mental well-being into four measures: life satisfaction, happiness, symptoms of depression, and loneliness. These results were then compared with responses to identical questions from a similar survey in 2018.

Surprisingly, the percentage of teens who were depressed or lonely was actually lower in 2020 than in 2018, and the percentage who were unhappy or dissatisfied with life was only slightly higher.

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