Adolescent Depression Essay Research Paper Psychology Adolescent

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Adolescent Depression Essay, Research Paper Psychology Adolescent Depression The Under Acknowledged Disease Depression is a disease that afflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted act and react abnormally toward others and themselves. Therefore it comes to no surprise to discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicide. It is now responsible for more deaths in youth aged 15 to 19 than cardiovascular disease or cancer (Blackman 103). Despite this increased suicide rate, depression in this age group is greatly under diagnosed and leads to serious difficulties in school, work and personal lives. Mood disorders in children are very prevalent and when should an adolescent with changes in mood be considered clinically depressed? Many say the

reason why depression is often over looked in children and teenagers are because “children are not always able to express how they feel (Brown 197).” Sometimes the symptoms of mood disorders take on different forms in children than in adults. Being a teenager is a time of emotional turmoil, mood swings, and gloomy thoughts. It is also a time of rebellion and experimentation observed that the “challenge is to identify depressive symptoms which may be superimposed on the backdrop of a more transient, but expected, developmental storm (Blacken 257).” Eiche 2 Therefore, diagnosis should not lye only in the doctors’ hands but should be aided with parents, teachers and anyone who interacts with the child 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 (Oster & Montgomery 204). Mood disorders are often accompanied by other psychological problems such as anxiety (Oster & Montgomery 204), eating disorders (Lasko 56), hyperactivity, substance abuse (Blackman, 134; Brown 107) and suicide (Blackman, 134). All of which can hide depressive symptoms. 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 (Brown 204). Key indicators of

adolescent depression include a drastic change in eating and sleeping patterns, significant loss of interest in previous activity interests (Blackman, 106) constant boredom (Blackman106), disruptive behavior, peer problems, increased irritability and aggression. Some doctors propose that “formal psychological testing may be helpful in complicated presentations that do not lend themselves easily to diagnosis.” For many teens, symptoms of depression are directly related to low self-esteem from increased emphasis on being popular. For other teens, some ways to become depressed from poor family relations, which could include decreased family support and perceived rejection by parents. Professionals stated that “when parents are struggling Eiche 3 over marital or career

problems, or are ill themselves, teens may feel the tension and try to distract their parents (Oster & Montgomery 126). This “distraction” could include increased disruptive behavior, self-inflicted isolation and even verbal threats of suicide. So how can the physician determine when a patient should be diagnosed as depressed or suicidal? It is suggested the best way to diagnose is to “screen out the vulnerable groups of children and adolescents for the risk factors of suicide and then refer them for treatment (Brown 221). ” Some of these “risk factors” include verbal signs of suicide within the last three months, prior attempts at suicide, indication of severe mood problems, or excessive alcohol and substance abuse. Many physicians tend to think of depression as