As displayed in the media multiple times before, girls can tend to be moody. This stereotype, outdated but partially true, can be proven by the different chemicals that are released in female’s anatomical systems. From constant ignorant comments regarding gender and unknowing assumptions made about women in general, it makes sense for girls to be moody since half of us are totally over dealing with misogyny on a daily basis.
Being female in the space we live in can be challenging in itself. Despite that, when children enter adolescence puberty is inevitable. The new change in hormones usually lead to irritability with girls, and increased anger or temper with boys. Puberty is based on the growth of estrogen or testosterone production in a child’s body, which leads them through the transition of becoming a young adult. The reactions between both groups are valid, but when feeling a little down turns into a depressive episode, action needs to be taken.
Generally speaking, one in every four women develop Major Depressive Disorder at some point in their lives, and women are two times more likely to deal with this disorder compared to men. Hormonal fluctuations of estrogen during your cycle can deeply impact this, along with affecting the amount of serotonin and dopamine that gets through the nervous system, reaching the mind. Women are also more prone to anxiety since there are often more chronic stressors added to day to day life. This can be broken down into many smaller groups too. For example LBGQ women, Black women, WOC, and transgender women all are at risk for facing more challenges in life. The more stressors added on a certain demographic, the more likely they will be prone to depression and anxiety. Family history is also a recurring culprit of female depression, as many physical and mental disorders are hereditary.
And guess what, you don’t need a major life changing event in order to have depression! Do not invalidate yourself because you “don’t have a reason to be depressed,” mental illness is treated as any other illness, and the source of which it started does not reflect on you as a person.
So, let’s mix this teenage angst with puberty, and out comes the worse possible recipe for Major Depression. These past three years have had an impact on all of our lives, and as a result most female adolescents have shown an alarming upward trend in depression.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Protection, (CDC) the amount of teen girls that have experienced sexual violence went up 20% in the last six years, feelings of hopelessness went up 60%, thoughts of committing suicide increased by 60%, and 3 out of 5 girls report a variety of depressive symptoms.
This isn’t all though. Remember those specific demographics we mentioned earlier? The different groups of young women react in different ways. For example, Black and Hispanic teens had an increase in reports skipping school, and white teens had an increase in reports for sexual assault. LGBTQ youth have experienced an increase in bullying since the creation of new media sources, allowing cyber-bullying rates to grow 14%.
Reading articles like this and doing your research to gain knowledge about this topic is the best way to spread awareness. Do your due diligence and check in on your family and friends, and take a second to do a check-in with yourself!
If you or a loved one feels suicidal or needs help, the Suicide Hotline is open for 24 hours seven days a week. Call 988, or text 741-741 to connect with a crisis counselor.
Take care of yourselves, and stay safe.
By Jada Strong, Freshman, Whitney Young Magnet
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