How many of you have mental health issues? I chose this topic for several reasons, most dominantly being that I have dealt with mental health issues and the baggage that comes with it since I was
seven years old. I will tell you about MDD, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia and how it affects children of all ages.
According to “The Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study”, Manic Depressive Disorder (MDD) comes along with these nine symptoms: depressed moods, reduced interest, a considerable loss or
gain in weight, insomnia, agitated behavior, fatigue, thoughts of worthlessness or guilt, and reduced ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions. Three to five percent of adolescents in the
United States have MDD. It is also more prevalent in girls. Youth depression is a major risk factor for suicide, which in 2003 ranked third among the leading cause of death among adolescents.
According to “Juvenile Bipolar Disorder”, bipolar disorder is a chronic condition characterized by repeated swings in mood between mania and depression. A child with bipolar disorder may experience
extreme shifts in mood and behavior. Bipolar has a strong genetic component, meaning if your parents have it, you have a higher chance of having it, too. Research suggests that more than half
of children with bipolar disorder have ADHD.
According to “Mental Health Issues”, schizophrenia is a developmental disorder, tracing it’s origin to abnormalities in the brain development, which cause subtle and non-specific behavioral changes
in childhood and later lead to full blown psychosis, usually in adolescents. Schizophrenia is a more serious mental issue. Symptoms include: hallucinations, hygiene problems, and paranoia.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to “The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Volume 3,” is a debilitating psychological condition triggered by major traumatic event, such as rape, war, a
terrorist act, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, or a catastrophic accident. As with MDD, it was once thought that children couldn’t be affected by this mental disorder - but they were
wrong. Symptoms in children include: sleep disturbances, daydreaming, re-creating trauma in play, extreme startle responses, diminished expectations for the future, and even biochemical changes in
their brains that affect their academic behavior. Also, children with PTSD become more vulnerable to self inflicting harm.
I hope you all have learned that just because you have a mental issue, doesn’t mean you’re abnormal. It just means that there are chemical changes in your brain that can be changed with a simple
medication or therapy treatments.
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