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The truth about teen depression - Megan Shinnick - [email protected]

You may pass out. The next day you may be unable to remember what happened while you were drinking. In small amounts, alcohol can make you feel better for a few hours. With larger amounts, it can make you feel worse. The desire to have this short-lived feeling then does not work, particularly if your body has developed tolerance to alcohol and you drink more in the hope that you will feel better.

The problem is that it is easy to slip into drinking regularly, using it like a medication. The benefits soon wear off and the drinking becomes part of a routine. We know that there is a connection — self-harm and suicide are much more common in people with alcohol problems. It seems that it can work in two ways:.

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Young people in the UK drink to have fun, to have the experience of losing control, to socialise more easily with others, to feel sexier — and because their friends do. Around a third of year olds binge-drink three or more times a month - more than in most other European countries. Alcohol seems to have the same depressant effect in younger people as it does in adults.


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Around a third of young suicides have drunk alcohol before their death, and increased drinking may have been to blame for rising rates of teenage male suicide. As we get older, we tend to lose muscle and to put on fat. Alcohol isn't absorbed by fat, so it ends up in the non-fatty tissues of the body. So, an older person who is the same weight as a younger person will tend to have more alcohol in their vital organs non-fatty tissues such as brain, muscles and liver.

This means that alcohol will affect an older person more. If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days, otherwise you put your health at higher risk. Binge drinking also seems to be connected with an increased risk of early death in middle-aged men and probably depression.

Most of us under-estimate the amount we drink — we don't usually keep an eye on it by counting units regularly. To check what is really happening, keep a diary of your alcohol intake over the course of a week.

Family Guidelines

This can give you a clearer idea of how much you are drinking. It can also help to highlight any risky situations - regular times, places and people when you seem to drink more. Some people can stop suddenly without any problems. Others may have withdrawal symptoms - craving, shakiness and restlessness. If this happens, ask your GP for help. We know that most depressed drinkers will start to feel better within a few weeks of cutting out alcohol. So, it is usually best to tackle the alcohol first, and then deal with the depression afterwards if it has not lifted after a few weeks.

After a few alcohol-free weeks, you will probably feel fitter and brighter in your mood. Friends and family may find you easier to get on with. If your feelings of depression do lift, it's likely that they were caused by the drinking. If the depression is still with you after four weeks of not drinking, talk to your GP about further help.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms and Helping Your Child

It may be useful to talk over your feelings, particularly if your depression seems linked to some crisis in your life. Common issues are relationship problems, unemployment, divorce, bereavement or some other loss. Counselling may be helpful. In either case, you will need to reduce or stay away from alcohol and go on with the treatment for several months. Your GP can tell you about the local services - you can then refer yourself or ask your GP to refer you.

Treatments for alcohol problems and depression do help, especially if you can regularly see someone you can trust - your own doctor, a counsellor or a specialist alcohol worker or a specialist psychiatrist. Changing your habits and style of life is always a challenge and can take some time. Provide understanding, strength and hope to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else's drinking.

It is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Their addiction services are free and confidential.

Contact details for all English AA meetings. National agency on alcohol misuse which works to reduce the incidence and costs of alcohol-related harm and to increase the range and quality of services available to people with alcohol-related problems. Alcohol — know your units. Call free on weekdays 9am — 8pm, weekends 11am — 4pm. A national health and social care provider, with information and advice for friends and family.

Risks of Alcohol Misuse. Causes of Psychosis and Risks of Alcohol Misuse. Health Effects of Alcohol. Latest Alcohol Unit Guidance. Underage Drinking. Adult Drinking Habits in Great Miller Eds. How to Reduce Your Drinking. Alcohol Support: Tips on Cutting Down. This site uses cookies: Find out more Okay, thanks. Home Mental health Problems and disorders Alcohol and depression. Buy this leaflet Print this page Share this page facebook twitter linkedin. This information is written for: anyone who feels depressed and thinks they may be drinking too much anyone who thinks they may be drinking too much and feels depressed friends, family or colleagues of anyone who is both depressed and drinking.

Disclaimer This webpage provides information, not advice. Alcohol and us. In the UK: Over the past 5 years, the number of hospital admissions where alcohol is the main cause has risen by 14 per cent Around 1 in 17 men and 1 in 50 women are physically dependent on alcohol. How does alcohol affect us? Immediate effects Alcohol tastes good to most adults although not, usually, to children although drinking is starting younger. It also was a great example of a woman taking charge of her own life, especially love life — something pretty advanced for the s! I read it again in college and appreciated it even more.

Douglas Adams' zany, faux sci-fi epic was the much-needed, hilarious antidote. The Boy Scout handbook was important, but once you got past the good citizenship and personal betterment stuff, the outdoorsy aspect of scouting was what made for real fun — and the true challenge. The "Fieldbook" opened up that endless world. It's the second of four in the series, but it's the one I read first, around age 10, so it's the one I love most. It's quirky, fun, and a quick read. I've always been one for historical fantasy novels, and " Crown Duel " is one of my favorites.

It's full of magic, courtly intrigue, epic battles, and of course, romance. Countess Meliara and her brother Bran lead a rebellion against the king in light of his secret plot to break the covenant the kingdom's people hold with the hill folk, but their army is ill-prepared and she falls into enemy hands — or at least, what she thinks are enemy hands. The first half of the book deals with the war and Mel's attempts to escape her captors, while the second half delves into courtly intrigues after the battle is won. It's a real page-turner with many surprises and wonderful characters.

It's not as terrifying as it sounds! The storyline is about an orphan girl in the early years of Great Britain, Mary "Jacky" Faber, who has to disguise herself as a boy to sneak onto a Navy ship just to have a chance at life. This first book, in particular, describes her struggles as an orphan and trying to fly under the radar. The series overall documents Jacky's life as she travels the world. Her character is super complex and as she ages and has these adventures of a lifetime, she explores strength as a woman, love, friendships, sexuality and her own dreams.

It's a super in-depth series and the reader really starts to feel like they are right there with Jacky.

"The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls

It was a great read as I was growing up because I really felt like I was experiencing a lot of what she was in modern times. It was incredibly transformative for how I thought about my daily life. I first read this series in fifth grade and formed my first-ever crush on the year-old author and I last read it as a sophomore in college. It is absolutely still just as good. There's nothing else really like it, and the world created is so intricate, engaging, and fun to be in that I always have a hard time putting it down — no matter what age I am.

We all feel out of places at times whoever we are and wherever we might be. The loneliness that stems from that feeling tends to be more intense when we are young. Not sappy and at times completely relatable — I recommend it to young adults who are in that stage of life themselves or adults who look back to those times with nostalgia. Laura Dower's "Madison Finn" series defined my childhood. Each book covered everything from friendship drama, to problems at school, to general growing pains of being a teenager.

A chunk of the books was written in instant chat form, so I picked up a lot of AIM jargon, too. This was required reading in my family, and I think perhaps the only book all of us kids meaning my older brother agreed on being essential. It's a great story to read along to at any age, but I particularly loved seeing a group of friends in a vulnerable time in life and a hyper-vulnerable station in life come together and show each other the loyalty they couldn't get anywhere else.

It's a great book and a great lesson in friendship.

Recommended Parenting Books

I'm very fond of books set in England — especially if they're historical or mysterious. The Sally Lockhart Mysteries take place over three books as Sally tries to figure out how her father died and who is out to sabotage her life and livelihood. Not only is Sally a wonderfully fierce character with a streak of independence, she's also a trailblazer for women's rights later on in the series.

The books also deal with the chasm between rich and poor and the idea of socialism as a solution to capitalism's ills. Most of that went way over my head when I was younger, but reading it again as an adult, I wasn't too surprised that the book spoke to me so powerfully even when I was younger. I'm fascinated by true crime and mystery, so it should come as no surprise that I was huge Nancy Drew fan growing up. The "Nancy Drew, Girl Detective" series kept me on the edge of my seat and was more timely than the books from the early-to-mid s. Personally, I would recommend any book by Sarah Dessen because they're all really fantastic reads.

I chose "Just Listen" because I really identified with the main character growing up. She was a very shy girl who was dealing with a heavy situation that she didn't feel like she could talk through with anyone. There's a lot of moving parts in the book, but at its core, it's about finding your voice and learning to make yourself heard, even if it's uncomfortable. I think any adolescent girl can identify with how hard that can be. Also, Owen, the love interest, was the best! My grandma gave me " Ella Enchanted " as a Christmas gift one year, and it remains one of my absolute favorites.

I've read this book dozens of times and I still re-read it every now and then. On the surface, it's a remake of the classic "Cinderella" fairy tale, but it's so much more than that. Ella is cursed by a well-meaning fairy with the "gift" of obedience — anything you order her to do, she must do immediately.

Instead of being docile, Ella is a rebel. She befriends gnomes, giants, centaurs, and princes during her odyssey across the magical land of Frell as she tries to end her curse once and for all. In the end, it's an epic love story, but it's also a tale of independence and strength through adversity.

They are definitely complete trash, but at the time I totally loved and related to the savagery of the girlfriend group the plot revolves around. They also had the best clothes. The best book of my 7th-grade life was "Pirates" by Celia Rees. It's an adventure tale, but the two main characters are the absolute best. It was all about girl power, even before I knew I was totally into girl power.

Nancy and Minerva's friendship is so pure, and the adventures are next-level awesome. Honestly now I want to go read it again right now. I regrettably only read the SparkNotes version of " The Giver " in middle school since I was too "busy" to read the full-length version. I read the actual book a few years ago, and it's definitely one that I wish I could go back and tell my seventh-grade self is worth reading, especially since I liked " Brave New World " so much when I read it in high school. Dystopian books like these are important for young adults to read because they really make them consider the status quo, and whether or not the current state of things in any aspect of life, in fiction or in reality is good or needs to change.

You get 13 books instead of 7! Actually, 14 if you count Lemony Snicket's unauthorized biography. JK Rowling's talent of creating memorable characters who, despite being wizards and witches with extraordinary powers, go through the same triumphs and tribulations of any Muggle adolescent, is just one reason why the Harry Potter series will forever be a YA classic.

Though it contains many young adult themes, the exciting and engaging story can still be enjoyed well past your childhood years. To this day, these are the books I continue to go back to over and over again. I would recommend investing in the hardcover or ebook versions—one, because of the sheer size of the books, and two, because you'll likely put them to a lot of use so you want them to last. I own the first five books in paperback, and they're all only held up by many layers of tape at this point.

I personally still love reading YA from time to time as an adult I think I've read almost everything by John Green. I loved learning about history as a kid, and the first-person narratives of princesses was one way to get me deeply involved. I even sewed my own Marie Antionette costume for Halloween when I was 11 after finishing her installation.

This series inspired a lifelong love of learning and a still powerful appreciation for historical fiction. If you want to see more from Insider Picks, we're collecting emails for an upcoming newsletter. You'll be the first to hear about the stuff we cover. Click here to sign up.

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