Depression in Teenagers
Depression in teenagers is a very serious condition. Many are thought to be attention seekers, moody or just going through a phase typical of the age, yet, each year the amount of teenagers committing suicide is alarming. Suicide is actually the third leading cause of death in people between the ages of 10 and 24 years old at a rate of approximately 4,600 deaths a year (Pappas, 2016). More teenagers die from committing suicide than from car accidents, cancer, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, AIDS and influenza combined.
The American Psychiatric Association (2016) defines depression as a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Many people associate depression with the “blues” or simply as sadness, but depression is not a simple situation. Depression is actually one of the most debilitating illnesses confronting society, exerting a major impact on social, emotional, and occupational functioning (Pine, Cohen, Cohen and Brook, 1999).
Depression can be diagnosed in people of all ages. Studies show that up to nine percent of teenagers meet criteria for depression at any one time, with as many as one in five teens having a history of depression at some point during adolescence (Cheung et al., 2007). Symptoms in adolescents can manifest differently than in adults due to the physical and social challenges that teenagers encounter. Some of the challenges that teenagers encounter that might lead to depression are peer pressure, changes due to developing bodies, changing hormone levels, peer pressure and sports among others. These challenges present in a teenager’s life can cause high levels of stress and anxiety that affect the teenager’s life in...
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...lusion, depression in teenagers is a condition that is not easy to diagnose without professional help, yet we need to stay alert for the symptoms that characterize the condition. Paying attention to sudden changes in behavior in our teens is crucial to early detection and prevention of situations that place our teenagers in danger such as alcohol and drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. Once we observe that a teenager has withdrawn from their family and friends, expresses sudden mood change such as anger, sadness, poor self-esteem or expresses suicidal thoughts or actions it is time to seek professional help with a psychologists or a psychiatrist. Paying attention to these symptoms can save the life of a teenager suffering the condition of major depression. It is important to understand that support is key to there overcoming such a terrible condition as is depression.
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