The stage of adolescence appears to be very delicate, as the adolescent faces several problems and challenges, both psychologically, healthily, and physically. Parents may be negligent at this stage, as they consider that the teenager has become responsible and more mature, and this stage is actually more sensitive and accurate. About that comprehensive briefing and the necessary follow-up from parents and all the problems that adolescents face in this period of their lives, especially nowadays with the presence of social media, electronic devices, the Internet and its products, Patricia Kaldani, Head of the Department of Pediatrics at Bellevue University Medical Center and Hospital spoke, stressing on solutions Which helps maintain the safety and health of the teenager in all respects.
What are the main problems faced by teenagers?
The problems experienced by the adolescent are not limited to those that appear directly. In fact, several problems appear in the long run and contribute to the creation of a society tainted by many defects in terms of educational, psychological, moral, and health aspects. The problems faced by adolescents are diverse, including psychological disorders that 40 percent of them suffer from, while 15 percent of adolescents are at risk of being overweight, and 30 percent of them are exposed to verbal abuse. Added to this is the problem of drug addiction spread in various places. These are all serious problems that cannot be underestimated, given their many repercussions. Added to it is the rapidly and ever-growing problem, which is an addiction to the Internet and video games, which also have many psychological, health, and social repercussions… This is in addition to accidents that can be exposed, noting that the figures issued by the World Health Organization confirm that car accidents rank first. Among the causes of teenage deaths. Depression and suicide are the second causes of death for adolescents in the United States from 15 to 19 years of age. The problem of smoking also emerges, which is a major problem faced among adolescents, followed by obesity, which is also a serious problem. As for the statistics on Lebanon, which were carried out by the World Health Organization in cooperation with the American University of Beirut Medical Center, they indicate that one out of 4 adolescents in Lebanon suffers from psycho-emotional disorders, and only 6 percent are subject to follow-up and treatment. Also, the rate of obesity among adolescents reaches 15 percent, and more than 20 percent of them face the problem of smoking of all kinds.
What about social media and electronic games, which seem to be a relatively new phenomenon, with consequences for teens?
Social media and electronic devices indeed have many positives that we cannot deny and focus exclusively on their negatives. One of its advantages is that it broadens the horizons of the teenager, makes him more informed in all fields, and increases his culture, in addition to the possibility of expanding the circle of electronic acquaintance with friends who cannot communicate with them closely. However, teenagers use the Internet in a random, unthought-out way and excessively, and here the problem arises when things get out of control. A large percentage of them fall into the problem of addiction to these things, and the numbers show their excessive consumption. There is also the problem of exposing them to situations that are not appropriate for their age and they are unable to deal with them in the right way, as they may realize the importance of maintaining their privacy and staying away from these situations that harm them. They also watch pictures and videos that are inappropriate for their age without any censorship. This also offends them from the moral, psychological, and social aspects… Matters reach them to satisfactory stages in which they are unable to control themselves as they need their smartphones or electronic devices at various times, and they may suffer depression in many cases… without forgetting The problem of lack of sleep, they need 9 or 10 hours of sleep, and with this pathological attachment to the Internet, electronic devices and social media, they do not get their need for sleep and rest.
Is it easy to treat the problems that the teenager faces?
It must be clarified first that adolescents constitute a distinct group in society with special needs that must be taken into account and met, and in most cases, they are not addressed for various reasons. Only 6 percent of them received treatment in Lebanon, compared to 25 percent in the world. Parents must know that the teenager is in a constant search for his identity, and finds himself in need of making many important choices that can affect his life and health in the future. This is what many parents do not realize its importance, so the problems of these adolescents remain untreated, which negatively affects them, their future, and society as a whole. Therefore, the awareness of parents seems to be an essential matter that must be emphasized to improve dealing with adolescents and encourage them to take care of their health.