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July 4th, 2024 Mature Content

Addressing the Teen Depression Epidemic

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  1. Addressing the Teen Depression Epidemic Evergreen Podcasts 50:15

In this episode of the EZ Conversations Podcast, Dr. Scott Kolbaba joins the host to discuss his extensive experience in treating depression, particularly among adolescent girls. Dr. Kolbaba highlights his medical career, working at Northwestern Medicine’s Adolescent Psych Unit, and his journey, which led him to write the book ‘Clara’s Magic Garden.’ The conversation covers the importance of finding purpose as a critical element in treating and preventing depression, the impact of social media, academic pressure, and family dynamics on mental health, and practical advice for parents and guardians in supporting their children’s mental well-being. Dr. Kolbaba also shares inspiring stories, such as Kevin Hines’ survival from a suicide attempt, illustrating the potential for recovery and purpose. He emphasizes the role of parents in helping children discover their passions and the need for open communication and support.

Scott Kolbaba, M.D., has been an internal medicine specialist for more than 45 years and is passionate about helping young people cope, survive, and thrive in chaotic modern times.

As a physician in the Northwestern Medicine adolescent psychiatric unit, he has seen the increase in suicide and depression that affects teens post-COVID. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of young women who contemplate suicide has doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 57% of U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 — double that of boys, representing an almost 60% increase and the highest level reported over the last decade. Nearly 30% of teen girls seriously considered attempting suicide.

Find Dr. Kolbaba’s work online:


04:22 Introduction and Guest Welcome

04:34 Dr. Scott’s Background and Interests

05:56 The Epidemic of Depression

09:42 Signs and Symptoms of Depression

12:41 Gender Differences in Depression

13:47 Social Media and Its Impact

16:39 Academic and Home Pressures

23:01 Navigating Social Media Challenges

26:04 The Power of Walking and Talking with Kids

26:46 Challenges of Modern Parenting

27:09 Peer Pressure and Screen Time

28:57 The Importance of Purpose in Mental Health

30:17 Finding and Supporting a Child’s Passion

31:14 Personal Anecdotes on Passion and Purpose

32:25 Encouraging Children to Pursue Their Interests

33:23 Kevin Hines’ Story: A Journey to Finding Purpose

36:47 The Role of Parents in Developing Purpose

38:09 Exploring Passions and Overcoming Comparisons

40:49 The Importance of Parental Purpose

41:36 Addressing ADHD and Purpose

42:51 Spiritual Connections and Higher Purpose

45:15 Final Thoughts and Encouragement

46:18 Where to Find More Information

Sponsors of the Podcast:

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If you would like to support EZ Conversations, here are all the ways you can do that:

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Furkhan Dandia Therapist and Coach

I am a men's coach, therapist, group facilitator, podcaster and author. My journey began five years ago when I was going through a separation. I found myself alone and in a shame spiral that our culture and society covertly exert on people due to the perceived "failure" of a marriage. Unfortunately, I personalized that message which led me to fall deeper into a hole, causing me to surround myself with people that did not serve me and engage in substance abuse. While seeking therapy, I was not making the wholesale changes I needed.

As part of my experience with therapy, I realized that I am not alone in the challenges men my age experience (I separated at the age of 34/35). I realized I could be a voice for men like myself and offer support in this space. In the middle of the pandemic, I applied for a Master's degree in Psychology to become a therapist. This change was a significant shift for me as I worked in the corporate world as an engineer. Once I leaned into the space of supporting other men, I also started a podcast to normalize these difficult conversations and started a men's group a year later with the support of a friend.

I thought I was giving something back when I started the men's group. However, I quickly realized I was getting substantially more from the connections I built than I initially anticipated. It was also something I needed because I was going through another breakup.

At that point, I also realized that I had not taken the time to heal, and I was outsourcing my healing through romantic relationships, substances, material acquisitions and superficial relationships. I decided to step away from the outgoing lifestyle and started to focus on my healing which was another phase of evolution for me on my journey. Over the last year and a half, I have become mindful of the people I spend my time with. I have cleaned my lifestyle of substances, toxic environments and behaviours. I have focused on my sleep, my health and my knowledge. I have improved my spiritual relationship with myself, which was lacking the most over the past five years. This is the best I have felt.

As part of my solitude journey and to find myself again, I also released a book encapsulating my journey, which I hope to share with others. My book is titled: The Pursuit of Self-Love.

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