Depression is a psychological disorder that affects human psyche in such a way that the person, who is depressed acts and react abnormally toward themselves and others. There are lots of stressors in adolescents’ life, at school, home, social interaction and change in body chemistry. As an adolescent, they have not learned to cope with some of the everyday life stressors in positive way; teens do not yet have the knowledge or the practice that can help them. This lack of knowledge drives adolescents to become more stressed than adult, who have years of knowledge and have learned positive coping skills. Therefore it comes to no surprise to discover that adolescent depression is strongly liked to teen’s suicide. Adolescent suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youth’s aged 15 to 19 than any other disease. Despite this increased suicide rate, depression in adolescent is under diagnosed do to lack of knowledge in caregivers. Depressed adolescent could be viewed as an oppositional, outcast, defiant teenager by care givers. Another reason for why depression is often over looked in children and adolescence is because children are not always able to express how they feel.
Symptoms of mood disorders take on different forms in children than in adults. An adolescent is a time of emotional turmoil, mood swings, gloomy thoughts, and heightened sensitivity. This time of self-actualization is the hardest time in teenager’s life, they are looking to belong to some type of social group and find themselves. It is a time of rebellion and experimentation. In order to understand and identify the depressive symptoms, which may be superimposed on the backdrop of a more transient, but expected, development storm. Therefore, diagnosing adolescent depression relies on all the care givers working together, therefore parents working with physicians, teachers, and anyone who interacts with patient on a daily basis. Often the symptoms of adolescent depression are masked. Instead of expressing sadness, teenagers may express boredom and irritability, or may choose to engage in risky behaviors. Mood disorders are often accompanied by other psychological problems such as anxiety, hyperactivity, substance abuse, eating disorders, lack of self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. The diagnoses in adolescent depression include a drastic change in eating, sleeping patterns, significant loss of interest in previous activity and interests. For most teens, symptoms of depression are directly related to poor family relation, lack of family support and low self-esteem stemming form in creased emphasis on peer popularity.
The majorities of cases for adolescent depression are mild and can be dealt with through several psych sessions. For the more severe cases of depression, in conjunction with talk therapy, medication may be necessary and without pharmaceutical treatment, depressive conditions could escalate and be fatal.
In order to help these troubled teens the caregivers have to work together with parents, teachers, school counselors, mental health professionals, and other adults who are caring for the teen. This is the safest and proven way to accurately evaluated the severity of an adolescent’s depression. Once the diagnosis made now the healing process can begin.