Posted: November 27th, 2013
Mental health-Teenage Depression
Mental health- Teenage depression
Depression is a psychological illness that affects the feelings and emotions of people. It is not just about being moody. It is more serious and has a significant impact on teenagers. It has been observed to bring about a complete change to a teenager’s personality. Some become angry, desperate and are overwhelmed with sadness. Recently, there has been a rise in the rate at which teenagers are suffering from depression. A study shows that at least four out of one hundred teenagers are getting severe depression annually. Unfortunately, girls are suffering from depression more than boys are. Research done in high schools recorded that nine percent of girls suffer either mild or severe depression. Even though teenage depression is a problem whose effect is increasing in young individuals, its prevalence is higher in girls than in boys; a situation that needs to be checked with urgency (Eyers &Parkers, 2010).
There is a remarkably wide range of causes of depression in teenagers. It could be that the boy or girl is not performing well in class. He or she does not understand why no one is paying attention to his or her situation. Such a teenager may feel lonely and gradually become depressed. Other causes are social status issues, peer pressure or sex orientation. Miller (2007) observed that a teenager and parent relationship could also cause depression. During adolescence, teenagers realize they are no longer small children hence demand for independence. On the other hand, the parent feels that this is when a teenager requires more attention. This conflict causes depression to the teenager.
It could be confusing to tell the difference between normal sadness and depression. Sometimes a depressed person may not necessarily be sad. Therefore, it requires a keen eye to identify this condition. There are many signs and symptoms for which to look. The most common is sadness; a boy or girl may look to be sad and cry frequently. They withdraw themselves from people and lose interest in their hobbies. There are also observable changes in the way they eat and sleep. Mostly, they sleep more than usual and tend to eat less. Most teenagers experience feelings of irritability, anger or hopelessness. In extreme cases, teenagers will go ahead and commit suicide. This could be so because of the feeling of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness (Eyers& Parkers, 2010).
The occurrence of depression in both teenage boys and girls has similarities and differences. The rate at which boys are suffering from this illness is currently at six percent. Out of the six percent, 4.9% results in severe depression. In girls, the chances of severe depression are twice as much as those of the boys (Miller, 2007). The major cause of teenage depression in both boys and girls is the change from childhood to puberty. The reasons for their depression are what bring about the difference. For instance, a girl may get depressed because of the physical changes taking place. A boy may be depressed because he comes from a broken home and has no one to talk to. In fact, many psychological experts agree that this fact has become a significant reason in boys’ depression (Eyers & Parkers, 2010).
Teenage depression could have extremely negative effects if not treated. If a student is performing well, depression could make good performance deteriorate. The physical health of the victim is likely to decline because of poor eating habits. Severe depression has made teenagers result to attempting suicide or homicide and some actually do it. In general, the whole social life of a teenager changes negatively.
Fortunately, regardless of what form of depression it is, there is a remedy. Any adolescent who exhibits signs and symptoms of depression should be examined by an expert. If he or she is suffering from depression, then treatment should be started immediately. The most common treatments are therapies and using antidepressant medications. Eyers & Parkers (2010) recommend that apart from clinical treatment, the environment of the patient should also help the individual to recover. The family members should be supportive. Friends and teachers should also try to help the patient in every way that he or she needs. They should be encouraged to open up because it is the most efficient way of getting help. Parents and guardians who are raising teenagers should pay more attention to them to watch out for issues that lead to depression.
Miller, A. R. Living with depression (2007). New York: InfoBase publishing.
Eyers, K. & Parker, G. (2010). Navigating teenage depression: A guide for parents and professionals. Washington, D.C: Taylor & Francis.
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