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comment by Odder
Odder  ·  428 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Increased Hours Online Correlate With An Uptick In Teen Depression, Suicidal Thoughts

You're right about the initial cause, but I'm talking about the end effect rather than the cause. Some baseline number of teenagers experience mild depression. Most of them probably don't talk about it with anybody. Some of them choose coping mechanisms like alcohol or the internet, which cause their depression to become worse. Some of them don't do that, and either stay the same or get better. Much like teenagers who drink, teenagers who are spending all their time on the internet are possibly already depressed, and it may be constructive to them to spend less time on the internet. In the article's defense, the researchers admit that correlation doesn't equal causation, and that high internet use might be a symptom as much as it is a cause.

On the other hand, it is true that telling anyone to spend less time on the internet, without presenting alternatives, is probably as effective as telling someone to stop drinking without presenting any alternatives. The internet and drinking can both be pretty fun, and if they're the only fun thing in someone's life, they need to be replaced with something else, not just eliminated. That's harder to do, though, which is why you get articles like this that talk about the internet as the problem, but you don't get any articles talking about solutions.

So bad coping mechanisms cause severe depression in people who already had mild depression, but just because the underlying problem was already there, doesn't mean that the bad coping mechanism didn't make it worse.

oyster  ·  428 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, unhealthy coping mechanisms making the depression/anxiety a person already has worse is already common knowledge to anybody with a basic understanding of mental health. That isn’t the point and if somebody isn’t aware that alcoholism makes the problem worse than they really aren’t the type of person I want to discuss mental health with honestly. The discussion I am bringing up is that it is relevant to discuss what came first. A parent telling their kid to get off their phone so they feel more connected with the world and then thinking their work is done is stupid. If the phone was a coping mechanism for feelings of disassociation that scared the young person who doesn’t know how to describe them and is afraid to talk about them them due to anxiety than what exactly did the parent solve ? I have literally helped people navigate their way to therapy to get the proper help when other people (read: old people) think getting off the phone fixes the entire problem because no way no how it’s not their kid that’s fucked up. No no, my kid doesn’t have social anxiety, he’s normal we just have to get him outside and do more no no he doesn’t need therapy. He needed and still needs therapy and he’s not getting it because parents think they’re kid is just perfect and it’s those damn video games that are the problem not their absolute garbage attempt at raising a child. This article just confirms for those people that it’s the substances fault and everything was hunky dory before it came along.

My opinion is that acting like the substance caused the onset of the problem only serves to have more parents act the way I’ve described. You’re allowed to disagree with that but if you’re only addition to make to this discussion is that unhealthy coping mechanisms make a problem worse than I’m going to have to ask you to stop insulting my intelligence. That is some really basic knowledge that doesn’t actually refute what I wrote at all. Replying that chickens make more eggs to the discussions of what came first, the chicken or the egg, doesn’t add to that conversation either.