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Teenage depression

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Nemanja P, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Nemanja P

    Nemanja P Moderator

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    Teenage depression isn’t just bad moods and occasional melancholy. Depression is a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Left untreated, teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing—even irreversible tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide.

    Fortunately, teenage depression can be treated, and as a concerned parent, teacher, or friend, there are many things you can do to help. You can start by learning the symptoms of depression and expressing concern when you spot warning signs. Talking about the problem and offering support can go a long way toward getting your teenager back on track.
    Understanding teen depression
    There are as many misconceptions about teen depression as there are about teenagers in general. Yes, the teen years are tough, but most teens balance the requisite angst with good friendships, success in school or outside activities, and the development of a strong sense of self.

    Occasional bad moods or acting out is to be expected, but depression is something different. Depression can destroy the very essence of a teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger.

    Whether the incidence of teen depression is actually increasing, or we’re just becoming more aware of it, the fact remains that depression strikes teenagers far more often than most people think. And although depression is highly treatable, experts say only 1 in 5 depressed teens receive help.
Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek assistance on their own, teenagers usually must rely on parents, teachers, or other caregivers to recognize their suffering and get them the treatment they need. So if you have an adolescent in your life, it’s important to learn what teen depression looks like and what to do if you spot the warning signs.
    Signs and symptoms of teen depression

    Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. The natural transition from child to adult can also bring parental conflict as teens start to assert their independence. With all this drama, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage moodiness. Making things even more complicated, teens with depression do not necessarily appear sad, nor do they always withdraw from others. For some depressed teens, symptoms of irritability, aggression, and rage are more prominent.
    Signs and symptoms of depression in teens

    * Sadness or hopelessness
    * Irritability, anger, or hostility
    * Tearfulness or frequent crying
    * Withdrawal from friends and family
    * Loss of interest in activities
    * Changes in eating and sleeping habits



    * Restlessness and agitation
    * Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
    * Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
    * Fatigue or lack of energy
    * Difficulty concentrating
    * Thoughts of death or suicide

    If you’re unsure if an adolescent in your life is depressed or just “being a teenager,” consider how long the symptoms have been present, how severe they are, and how different the teen is acting from his or her usual self. While some “growing pains” are to be expected as teenagers grapple with the challenges of growing up, dramatic, long-lasting changes in personality, mood, or behavior are red flags of a deeper problem.
    The difference between teenage and adult depression

    Depression in teens can look very different from depression in adults. The following symptoms of depression are more common in teenagers than in their adult counterparts:

    * Irritable or angry mood – As noted above, irritability, rather than sadness, is often the predominant mood in depressed teens. A depressed teenager may be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or prone to angry outbursts.
    * Unexplained aches and pains – Depressed teens frequently complain about physical ailments such as headaches or stomachaches. If a thorough physical exam does not reveal a medical cause, these aches and pains may indicate depression.
    * Extreme sensitivity to criticism – Depressed teens are plagued by feelings of worthlessness, making them extremely vulnerable to criticism, rejection, and failure. This is a particular problem for “over-achievers.”
    * Withdrawing from some, but not all people – While adults tend to isolate themselves when depressed, teenagers usually keep up at least some friendships. However, teens with depression may socialize less than before, pull away from their parents, or start hanging out with a different crowd.

    Effects of teen depression

    The negative effects of teenage depression go far beyond a melancholy mood. Many rebellious and unhealthy behaviors or attitudes in teenagers are actually indications of depression. The following are some the ways in which teens “act out” or “act in” in an attempt to cope with their emotional pain:

    * Problems at school. Depression can cause low energy and concentration difficulties. At school, this may lead to poor attendance, a drop in grades, or frustration with schoolwork in a formerly good student.
    * Running away. Many depressed teens run away from home or talk about running away. Such attempts are usually a cry for help.
    * Drug and alcohol abuse. Teens may use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to “self-medicate” their depression. Unfortunately, substance abuse only makes things worse.
    * Low self-esteem. Depression can trigger and intensify feelings of ugliness, shame, failure, and unworthiness.
    * Internet addiction. Teens may go online to escape from their problems. But excessive computer use only increases their isolation and makes them more depressed.
    * Reckless behavior. Depressed teens may engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviors, such as reckless driving, out-of-control drinking, and unsafe sex.
    * Violence. Some depressed teens (usually boys who are the victims of bullying) become violent. As in the case of the Columbine school massacre, self-hatred and a wish to die can erupt into violence and homicidal rage.

    Source Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
     

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  2. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Very important topic
     

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  3. rabab froja

    rabab froja Famous Member

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    so important and so dangerous topic that we need to talk about : especially when there is misconception between this subject and bad mood which is not easily recognized by family or friends , and this endanger the teen life so we have to aware parent from this problems that may face their child ,thanks for this subject :cool: r .f
     

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  4. Sofija Kardio

    Sofija Kardio Famous Member

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    Why do I love this post so much? :p
     


  5. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    We should ask Nemanja :D
     


  6. Sofija Kardio

    Sofija Kardio Famous Member

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    Hahahhaha Oh, so he told you that story? :)
     


  7. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Hahaha , no i am just predicting :D
     


  8. Sofija Kardio

    Sofija Kardio Famous Member

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    Hahahahha You predict very well, did you know that? :D
     


  9. demygirl

    demygirl Well-Known Member

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    Great resource about teen depression. Here is another article that offers help and support to parents of depressed teens. Teen depression is a serious illness that can cause poor concentration, which can affect memory and thinking. If left untreated, depression does not only result to extreme psychological problems in your teen but can also lead to suicidal tendencies. Do not ignore your teen if you think they are suffering from depression. Seek the help of family, friends, and even a professional if necessary. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Thanks for sharing this article.
     


  10. fionadirk

    fionadirk Young Member

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    Teen Depression is something serious. Number of teens suffering from depression are increasing day by day and your this article have all the information that parents need to know. Parents must know all this stuff so that they can find whether their children is suffering from depression or not.
     


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