Adolescent Depression Adolescent Depression Adolescent Depression Essay, Research Paper Adolescent Depression Depression is a disease that afflicts the human psyche, so that the afflicted tends to act and react abnormally toward others and themselves. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicide. Suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youths aged 15 to 19 than cardiovascular disease, cancer, and homicide combined. Despite this increased suicide rate, depression in this age group is greatly under diagnosed and leads to serious difficulties in school, Unfortunatly, many people today do not even know what depression is, or what it is caused by.
This is a situation that can be greatly alleviated by some simple education. The signs of clinical depression include marked changes in mood and associated behaviors that range from sadness, withdrawal, and decreased energy to intense feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. Depression is often described as an exaggeration of the duration and intensity of "normal' mood changes. Key indicators of adolescent depression include a drastic change in eating and sleeping patterns, significant loss of interest in previous activity interests, constant boredom, loss of sex drive, disruptive behavior, peer problems, increased irritability, and aggression. For many teens, symptoms of depression are partially related to low self esteem stemming from increased emphasis on peer popularity. For other teens, depression arises from poor family relations which could include decreased family support and perceived rejection by parents.
These problems can lead to the exacerbation of symptoms that the child may already be genetically prone to. Although many people have the genetic makeup to allow them to at one point experience this problem, not all actually become depressed. Trauma usually plays a considerable role in causing a person to become depressive. The actual cause of depression, however, comes from inside the brain. Clinical depression is a chemical disorder.
The brain of a normal person functions through synapses sending out electrical impulses to each other, making brain waves, and creating thought. In the mind of a depressed individual, however, there is an abundance of the chemical seratonin. Seratonin is exuded by the brain naturally, but when there is too much, it actually tries to go back from whence it came. This impedes the function of brain synapses, causing a lessening in the brain+s ability to function. There are many medications on the market today that are thought to be the answer to this problem. The most popular is a group called the SSRIs, or selective seratonin re intake inhibitors.
These drugs limit the amount of seratonin that can be produced by the body, and make sure that it is not where it shouldn+t be. This allows the brain to resume normal function. These drugs have the ability to help most people; in fact, their success has been much commercialized over the past few years. The most popular brand names are Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, but there are actually about 18 different variants of the drug. One reason why depression is often overlooked in children and adolescents is because children are not always able to express how they feel. Sometimes the symptoms of mood disorders take on different forms in children than in adults.
Adolescence is a time of emotional turmoil, mood swings, gloomy thoughts, and heightened sensitivity. It is a time of rebellion and experimentation. Diagnosis cannot lay only in the physician's hands, but must be associated with parents, teachers, and anyone who interacts with the patient on a daily basis. Unlike adult depression, symptoms of youth depression are often masked. Instead of expressing sadness, teenagers may express boredom and irritability, or may choose to engage in risky behaviors. Mood disorders are often accompanied by other psychological problems such as anxiety, eating disorders, hyperactivity, substance abuse, and suicide, all of which can hide depressive symptoms.
Until recently, adolescent depression has been largely ignored by health professionals; however, several means of diagnosis and treatment now exist. Although most teenagers can successfully climb the mountain of emotional and psychological obstacles that lie in their paths, there are some who find themselves overwhelmed, and full of stress. How can parents and friends help out these troubled teens? And what can these teens do about their constant and intense sad moods? With the help of teachers, school counselors, mental health professionals, parents, and other caring adults, the severity of a teen's depression can not only be accurately evaluated, but plans can be made to improve his or her well-being and ability to fully engage life.