Adolescence: Stress, Depression, and Suicide

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Adolescence is a stage of maturation between childhood and adulthood that denotes the period from the beginning of puberty to maturity. However, many conflicting opinions are raised about weather such a stage of childhood is influenced by stress, depression, and suicide rate. Some people support the optimistic view that says that adolescence is not a period of storm and stress. Others, including me, support an opposite pessimistic view which characterizes adolescence as a period of stress and inner turmoil. Unfortunately, it has been recently proved that depression is a growing problem in today's society and a major contributing factor for a multitude of adolescent problems. This is because , as research indicates, adolescent depression is the result of mood disorders accompanying this period and the high suicide rate that is basically a result of such a depression. By analyzing depression, we will find that depression is a disease that afflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted tends to act and react abnormally toward others and himself. Therefore it comes to no surprise to discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicide. Adolescent suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youths aged 15 to 19 than cardiovascular disease or cancer (Blackman, 1995). Despite this increased suicide rate, depression in this age group is greatly underdiagnosed and leads to serious difficulties in school, work and personal adjustment which may often continue into adulthood. However, how prevalent are mood disorders in children and when should an adolescent with changes in mood be considered clinically depressed? Brown (1996) has said the reason why depression is often over looked 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. Blackman (1996) observed that the "challenge is to identify depressive symptomatology which may be superimposed on the backdrop of a more transient, but expected, developmental storm." Therefore, diagnosis should not lay only in the physician's hands but be associated with parents, teachers and anyone who ... ... middle of paper ... ...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. WORKS CITED Blackman, M. (1995, May). You asked about... adolescent depression. The Canadian Journal of CME [Internet]. Available HTTP: http://www.mentalhealth.com/mag1/p51-dp01.html. Brown, A. (1996, Winter). Mood disorders in children and adolescents. NARSAD Research Newsletter [Internet]. Available HTTP: http://www.mhsource.com/advocacy/narsad/childmood.html. Lasko, D.S., et al. (1996). Adolescent depressed mood and parental unhappiness. Adolescence, 31 (121), 49-57. Oster, G. D., & Montgomery, S. S. (1996). Moody or depressed: The masks of teenage depression. Self Help & Psychology [Internet]. Available HTTP: http://www.cybertowers.com/selfhelp/articles/cf/moodepre.html
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