How Can We Help Self-Destructive Teens?

Janelle Harris

sad teenThere’s a new study about teenagers. Yes, another one. And here’s the jaw-dropping revelation: Teens with eating disorders are more likely to have suicidal thoughts. They’re also more likely to dabble in drug and alcohol usage. Well, those were thousands upon thousands of academic research dollars put to good use. 

What’s frustrating about the constant roll-out of these studies that tell us what we already should know (and studies and studies and more studies) is that they usually have the potential to be helpful, and this like so many others could’ve very well yielded beneficial information had it not rehashed the same heap of tired information.

Granted, this is the largest comprehensive overview of teens and eating disorders reportedly ever conducted, but its findings hint that the greater issue at hand has been glazed over. So can we dig just a smidge bit deeper to study what’s the root cause of these poor children’s self-hatred in the first place?  

The saddest thing is seeing so many kids immerse themselves in self-destructive behavior — and that doesn’t even include the ones into cutting, promiscuity, and taking crazy dangerous risks for no real reason. There are some kids crying out for help, but no one seems to be digging into the root of the goings-on. It’s like worrying about the damage and cleanup at the site of a 10-car pileup and not attending to the accident victims.

Let’s help researchers (and each other) out. Why, in your opinion, are so many teens struggling with so many self-destructive behaviors and issues? 

Image via michi003/Flickr

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