Chaste teens significantly less likely to be depressed

Concerned Parents Report | The researchers found that when compared to teens that are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed (images: Pexels).

When compared to teens who are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed. Also, when compared to teens who are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly more likely to attempt suicide.

According to a study written by The Heritage Foundation, teenage sexual activity is an issue of widespread national concern. Although teen sexual activity has declined in recent years, the overall rate is still high. In 1997, approximately 48 percent of American teenagers of high school age were or had been sexually active. Every day, about 8,000 teenagers in the United States become infected by a sexually transmitted disease. Overall, roughly one-quarter of the nation’s sexually active teens have been infected by a sexually transmitted disease. The problems of pregnancy and out-of-wedlock childbearing are also severe.

In 2000, about 240,000 children were born to girls aged 18 or younger. Nearly all these teenage mothers were unmarried. These mothers and their children have an extremely high probability of long-term poverty and welfare dependence. Less widely known are the psychological and emotional problems associated with teenage sexual activity. This particular study examined the linkage between teenage sexual activity and emotional health. The researchers found that when compared to teens that are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed. They also found that when compared to teens who are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly more likely to attempt suicide. In addition to its role in promoting teen pregnancy and the current epidemic of STDs, early sexual activity is a substantial factor in undermining the emotional well-being of American teenagers.1

1Sexually Active Teenagers Are More Likely to be Depressed and to Attempt Suicide, The Heritage Foundation, June 2, 2003, pp. 1-8.



Why All Churches Should Address Depression & Anxiety

Awareness must be created among Church members to deal with depression and anxiety (The Express Tribune with the International New York Times) by Jarrid Wilsonjarridwilson.com.

 

It's no secret my past was riddled with mental health issues—ones that kept me from wanting to live for much of my teenage life. I'm very vocal about this truth, and I will continue to be as along as my story may have an impact on others who need to hear it.

And while I do believe today's church is doing better at addressing the issue that is mental health, I believe there can be so much more done than what is currently taking place in regards to depression and anxiety. Let me explain.

I never tried to take my own life in my younger years, but I frequently found myself googling painless ways to commit suicide, and really had no remorse once finding what I was looking for. It was a sad state to hold myself. The reality is that my life was infected with the burden of depression and anxiety, and the only places I could find reliable information from were not churches in my local area.

Why? It's because mental illness wasn't really talked about much.

I felt as if all the "Christian" resources were outdated, and really didn't address the fact that taking medication was okay in the eyes of God. There really wasn't much information at all. It was as if all the answers I was finding were suggesting that I just needed more faith.

Seriously? The last thing someone contemplating suicide wants to hear is, "Just have faith." I understand that Jesus has the power to conquer anything that comes in my way, but please don't throw Christians clichés at me. I wanted real, authentic and practical information, and I assume there are millions in this world who would want the same. It's what Jesus would have done.

I really wanted to find help in the church, but there were no ministries or non-profits working within the walls of local congregations that I could reach. All the counseling and help I received came years after I actually needed it, and it was found in the secrecy of a local medical facility, not a church—where it should have been all along.

Mind you, the church has come a long way since my teen years in regards to helping those with mental illness, but I believe we can still do a lot more.

Some Statistics
1. It is reported that 1 in 10 Americans are affected by depression. 
2. Over 80 percent of people who are clinically depressed are not receiving treatment. 
3. The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 30 percent every year. 
4. An estimated 121 million people around the world suffer from depression. 
5. In 2013 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.
6. In 2013, someone died by suicide every 12.8 minutes.

 

We Need The Church

"Cast all your care on Him, because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7, MEV).

Here's the thing. I understand that there is importance to seeing what many would call a "professional" in the field of mental health issues, but this doesn't mean that the local church shouldn't be prioritizing leadership roles and ministry efforts to help those who deal with these issues. I understand that not all churches lack in this area, but I bet there are more who do than don't.

My wife and I have met with and counseled dozens of young people over the past year. All shared with us the brutal battle that is taking place within their souls. Suicide attempts, cutting, depression, and anxiety are just the beginning of what these young people were facing.

We NEED the church to step up in its efforts to be more vocal in regards to mental illness. Whether that is through a sermon series, free resources, creating non-profits or even a cultivating a designated year-long ministry. Regardless, the church should be on the front lines of this battle. People need a safe place where they can be honest and transparent with what they are going through.

There is nothing wrong with admitting you are depressed, cutting, have attempted suicide or are even contemplating it. There is nothing wrong with seeking medical attention and being prescribed medication to help you along the journey. And, there is nothing wrong with admitting you need help. 

A Few Resources

1. Heart Support.

2. My Broken Palace. 

3. To Write Love On Her Arms.

4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety or has even thought of suicide, please give them the resources above and do not wait another minute.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Jarrid Wilson is a husband to Juli, dad to Finch, pastor, author, blogger, and founder of Cause Roast. He's helping people live a better story. For the original article, visit jarridwilson.com.