Two Powerful Ways Magnesium Can Help Your Teenager (and You) with Anxiety and Depression
Magnesium deficiency could be devastating for teenage mental health.
The rising rates of anxiety and depression are alarming. Especially in teenagers. In 2019 it was estimated that 1 in 3 young adults between ages 13 and 18 will have an anxiety disorder. That was pre-pandemic! We can only assume that 2+ years of Covid has contributed to even more stress, anxiety, and depression.
The reason for this epidemic of potentially debilitating levels of anxiousness isn't clear. Experts have suggested that pressure from parents to "go to good colleges" and "get good jobs", along with social media, "helicopter parenting", and increased chaos in the world are significant contributing factors.
Just as the contributing factors for anxiety and depression can be varied and complex, often the best strategies for helping these precious young people are multi-faceted. Every person is different, and the recipe for helping them adapt and cope with stress and anxiety is unique to each individual.
Many people, both teenagers, and adults have benefitted from counseling and therapy, increased physical activity, meditation, reduced inflammatory foods, spending time in nature, hiking, prioritizing sleep, and improved nutrition.
A particularly safe and effective strategy is introducing a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is an essential mineral that can play a role in keeping stress, anxiety, and depression at bay.
In the remainder of this article, we'll focus on two of the mechanisms that help explain how Magnesium might be able to help you or your loved one.
1. You've probably heard of "fight or flight" vs "rest and digest", referring to the Sympathetic vs Parasympathetic Nervous System. People with high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression tend to be stuck in flight or fight mode. If your nervous system can't down-regulate, you're going to be stuck feeling anxious, on edge, and miserable.
Magnesium functions to down-regulate the nervous system, helping the body to move into a state of rest, digest, and heal/grow. Magnesium increases the presence of GABA (Gaba-Aminobutyric acid), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, by binding to the GABA receptors on cells. GABA calms down the central nervous system, and this is going to help bring peace to the neurology of the body. A person whose central nervous system down-regulates the way that it's supposed to will have less anxiety and can handle and adapt to stressful situations easier.
2. Once we understand that Magnesium literally plays a pivotal role in the biochemistry of stress management, relaxation, and feeling less anxious, then we also have to acknowledge that it helps us sleep better. Better sleep is the second important mechanism that will help you or your teenager potentially have less anxiety.
Sleep is often underrated and neglected, especially among teenagers. The importance of sleep for mental health and mental resilience can not be overstated. When the body sleeps, especially in the deep and REM (Rapid-Eye Movement) phases of sleep, it gets a chance to process all the things that happened that day and heal from all the abuse it experienced. Your brain has to have a chance to process and make sense of all the events of the day so that you can wake up and take on another day.
If you're not getting high-quality, deep sleep your mental health is going to suffer. If you haven't already started seeing it, you're going to notice more and more articles pointing out how important sleep is for feeling less anxious and feeling less depressed.
In conclusion: While using a supplement like Magnesium to the Rescue is certainly not a magic cure, it is a safe, conservative, natural, and holistic strategy that you or your teenager can use to help the body feel less anxious, less stressed, and feel an improved mood and outlook.
None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and should not be taken as medical advice. Consult a well-educated health care professional.