Your Teen Vices Made You a Depressed Adult

Jeanne Sager
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marijuanaDid you smoke pot as a teenager? Hey, no judging -- you've got former presidents on your side.

But you might want to tell your doctor.

New studies are linking pot smoking in the teen years to depression in adulthood ... sort of.

Looking at more than 50,000 adults in 17 countries taking part in a World Health Organization mental-health study, the researchers found that marijuana use in the teen years upped your risk by about 50 percent of having a depression "spell" in adulthood.

A bit to consider: 19.6 percent of teens report smoking pot. And about 26.2 percent of American adults have depression.

So not every kid who smokes pot ends up with depression. And I can speak from experience -- not everyone with depression has smoked pot (nope, I never even "didn't inhale").

But before we write this one off as just another case of correlation does not mean causation, look back to your teenage vices. Weren't they often about escape?

And isn't the desire to escape a root of depression?

I can trace my depression to my teen years quite easily. It was as a teenager that I started the long road into eating disorder hell (and in adulthood that I worked my way out of it with a depression diagnosis and medication).

It was as a teenager that I first encountered the frustrations with life that would follow me into adulthood and worked to develop coping mechanisms -- not always the best ones.

Be it pot or perhaps alcohol, most American kids get their taste of escape during the teen years -- it's their self esteem, their attitude toward life that will determine whether they take it.

So pot use in the teen years might just be experimenting for the sake of experimenting. Or it might be a sign of your future.

Do you think your teenage years played a role in your current depression?

 

Image via warrantedarrest/Flickr

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