Depression and Teenagers
Did you know that about 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adult hood? “Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things.”(teendepression.org/stats/teenage-depression-statistics/). Ever been curious about the warning signs, causes, and different kinds of depression. Have you ever thought about what is happening inside of their brain? Or do you ever wonder how suicide ties in to depression? How about what someone can get help for depression? Depression hurts, and it is scary for someone to express their concerns about it to others in fear of judgement, but maybe it will help a little to learn about it, if not save their life.
First, there are many warning signs, some include; separating themselves from loved ones, sudden weight loss/gain, insomnia or sleeping excessively, and problems with concentrating, and issues with making decisions. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002486/) (Scheff). Restlessness, anxiety, not enjoying once loved activities.feeling unworthy, feeling guilty, being bored all the time, frequent health complaints although they’re healthy, or cutting or burning themselves (teendepression.org/).These are just a few of the hundreds of warning signs of depression. Many people think that they have just depression just because they have a couple of the symptoms for a few days, this is usually just a healthy, natural reaction to stressful event. When you should really be worried about someone is if they have 5 or more symptoms of depression for two weeks in a row.
Secondly, one of the biggest stereo types of the cause of depression is that it means someone is mentally insane. Well depression does have an affect on the brain, depression is more a “temporary response to many situations and stresses,” then a brain malfunction. (ncbi) Some of the biggest causes of teen depression are; independence conflicts with parents, death of someone close to you, a harsh breakup to a relationship, failure at school, being bullied or harassed, or learning disabilities. Also, some more big causes are, constant illnesses, poor social skills, stressful events, family history, abuse, and even gender and hormonal changes (ncbi) (teen-depression.info/overview/). The basic human reaction to people with depression is to ignore them, but think about how you would feel if you were harassed, abused, or one of the other many causes, and you felt trapped, alone. You would want someone to reach out to you.
Third, is teen suicide. This is people our age, our peers, our friends, killing themselves daily because they have no idea how or they’re to scared to deal with their depression.“Teen suicide is a serious problem. Adolescent suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and young adults in the U.S. It is estimated that 500,000 teens attempt suicide every year,” (webmd.com/depression/guide/teen-depression).Did you know that suicide is the third leading cause of deaths of 15-24 year-olds? And did you know that untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide? (http://www.teen-depression.info/overview). And did you know that, “Suffering from depression can make a teenager as much as 12 times more likely to attempt suicide[?]” (Teen Depression Stats). Depression kills. It’s not just a saying, its a fact.
Fourthly, is the different types of depression. “Diff[erent] kinds of Doctors who treat depression distinguish between these two types of depression,” major depression and Dysthymia. Major depression is a shorter, yet more severe depression form, while Dysthymia is a longer lasting, yet not as severe form. “A third form of depression that doctors may diagnose is called adjustment disorder with depressed mood. This diagnosis refers to a depressive reaction to a specific life event (such as a death, divorce, or other loss), when adjusting to the loss takes longer than the normally expected time frame or is more severe than expected and interferes with the person's daily activities.” “Bipolar disorder (also sometimes called manic depressive illness) is another depressive condition that involves periods of major depression mixed with periods of mania. Mania is the term for abnormally high mood and extreme bursts of unusual activity or energy,” (kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/depression.html#). Depression is just like any other sickness where there are different types of the same thing.
Fifthly, is how depression affects the brain. “Depression involves the brain's delicate chemistry — specifically, it involves chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals help send messages between nerve cells in the brain. Certain neurotransmitters regulate mood, and if they run low, people can become depressed, anxious, and stressed. Stress also can affect the balance of neurotransmitters and lead to depression[.]” So next time you think about someone with depression, instead of being judgemental, why don’t you try to help them by just being their friend and supportive and understanding towards their situation?
Last, but definitely not least, is the different ways of getting help for depression. Did you know that less then 33% of teens that suffer from depression seek help for it (Scheff), although “about 80% of people who get help for their depression have a better quality of life — they feel better and enjoy themselves in a way that they weren't able to before.” (Kids Health). Treatment can include, exercise, good wholesome foods, expressing yourself, having a positive attitude, getting proper sleep, setting goals for yourself, identifying your problems “identify troubles, but don't dwell on them[,]” ect (Kids Health) (pristiq.com/major_depressive_disorder.aspx). More professional based help includes, “talk therapy, medication, or a combination of both” (Kids Health).
Depression is a hard thing to deal with, it messes with you physically and mentally. With all the different causes, kinds, symptoms, effects, suicidal cases, depression is not something to be taken lightly. Depression is an illness, and an illness that requires treatment, don’t be afraid to use one of the many resources and seek help. Depression can take over your whole world, but only if you let it. So the question is, will you let it, or will you prevent it?