Fascinating research out of the UK this week could have helped teens like me. If only I could take this discovery into the way-back machine.
The scientists found teens who had a genetic biomarker that showed a tendency toward depression also had trouble identifying emotions in a cognitive test done on computer. Because the genetic test is so expensive, the researchers are pleased that they can administer the computer test and find the same results.
In a nutshell, kids who think poorly of themselves in stressful situations are more likely to become depressed. These kids have no idea they actually have a choice in what they think. Heck, there are millions of adults who are slaves to whatever thought pokes its way into their head. I wish they would teach that in school; that your automatic thoughts are an option, not necessarily the best option. But I digress.
Identifying these adolescents with depressive tendencies can lead, scientists say, to early intervention with cognitive treatment to essentially teach them how to think in a way that doesn’t harm them and make them depressed. If I were a billionaire, this is the kind of scientific study I’d support in a heartbeat. Happier kids lead to happier adults and happier adults just lead to a million better decisions every day, that help people around them. From taking a perceived (and the key word is PERCEIVED) slight with grace or humour to … whatever. I personally believe mental health is the single most important health issue in society today. It’s so important, it tends to get completely overlooked.