Essay on Depresion in Adolescents is Becoming and Epidemic

Essay on Depresion in Adolescents is Becoming and Epidemic

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The concept of a happy childhood being a carefree, never-ending recess before the responsibilities of adulthood set in is just as realistic as the cartoons children watch on television. To the contrary, adolescents today feel less safe, less inspired and less hopeful than ever before. It is not surprising then that depression is a common concomitant to adolescent development (Tharper, Collishaw, & Pine, 2012). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in five adolescents between the ages of nine and twenty four is clinically depressed and more than twenty percent of adolescents will have experienced a major depressive episode before reaching adulthood (“Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention”, n.d.). Such episodes can affect developmental growth, interfere with educational achievement, and increase the risk of attempted and completed suicide as well as major depressive disorder prior to adulthood. Depression in adolescents has become an increasingly important mental epidemic and is thus a major risk factor for suicide, the third leading cause of death among this age group (Tharper et al., 2012). One hundred percent of those teens who suffer from depression can get help but less than thirty three percent of teens with depression are properly diagnosed and actually seek treatment (“Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention”, n.d.). Therefore, the early recognition of and the development of effective treatments for adolescent depression clearly should be a high public health priority.
Despite the fact that teenage depression is a serious problem in today’s society, it is greatly overlooked and is therefore a contributing factor to a multitude of adolescent issues. For instance, teen...

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...h prevention strategies could be aimed at reducing modifiable risks and promotion of factors to protect high-risk children from the effects of misfortune (“Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention”, n.d.).
Although teenage depression cannot always be prevented, it is up to the health care providers to take simple steps by making a difference. While it may be difficult to distinguish between clinical depression and normal adolescent development, a notable indicator is whether symptoms are all-encompassing or situational. Is there a change in the patient’s behavior and mannerisms? Is there a history of familial depression? Has the depressed episode lasted for weeks? The questions are endless, as is the important need for clinicians to ask them. Adolescent depression does not have to be a lifelong battle, and it certainly does not have to end in suicide.

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