We started last week on postpartum depression; well this week we will be swimming in the sea of the topic ‘teenage induced depression’.
According to an article by Mayoclinic, Teenage depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems.
Adolescence can be a very stormy and challenging time, even for the well-adjusted teen. Depression strikes teenagers and adults alike, and can have far-reaching implications when young people suffer from emotional difficulties that they aren’t sure how to manage.
Puberty due to a change in physical development has attributed to depression in teenagers. The changes associated with puberty begin when the brain sends hormone signals to the gonads-ovaries (in females) and testes (in males).
Study has it that for adolescent girls, increased risk for depression appears to be mostly as a result of the sharp transition in their physical development. (Angold A et al, 1998)
According to the University of Michigan Depression Centre, study as it that as many as 5% teenagers suffer from serious depression at some point in time and about 20% of teenagers will experience meaningful symptoms by the time they enter adulthood. More so the ages between 15 and 24 years represent the most common time for the onset of a depressive disorder.
10 Main Causes of Teenage Depression
- Social Anxiety or Peer Pressure
- Academic Stress
- Traumatic Events
- Romantic Problems
- Separating or Divorcing Problems
- Family Financial Struggle
- Low-self Esteem
- Feeling of Helplessness
- Physical or Emotional Neglect
Symptoms include irritability, withdrawal, isolation, hopelessness, reduced socio-passing reaction, intense sensitivity to rejection, and loss of energy, sleep disturbance, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, academic decline and suicidal thoughts. Of these symptoms, the following are more common amongst depressed teenagers than adults and they are irritable or angry mood, unexplained aches and pains, extreme sensitivity to criticism and withdrawing from some but not all people.
Many times, teen depression leads to drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, violence and even suicide.
Addressing the Signs.
It is always better to address the signs early in life to aim towards a better life and this can be done by:
- Counselling which involves offering support, being gentle and friendly, persistent, listen more than lecture and validate your feelings.
- An exercise which helps to boost serotonin and endorphins in the brain and resultantly helping to make mood better
- Good friendship
- Development of a strong self-esteem
- Success in school or outside school.
However, FDA has approved two medications for teen depression; fluoxetine and escitalopram. Any teen taking an antidepressant should be monitored well for worsening condition or bizarre behaviours, especially with the introduction of the medication or with a change in dosage. Nevertheless; if your teen has suicidal thought while taking an antidepressant, contact your doctor or get emergency help.
In conclusion, help yourself (as a teenager) or help that teenager (as a parent and concerned friend) by helping to reduce depression and always stay attentive.
With every passing day, lurking around the corners of the world is teenage induced depression so let’s help those teenagers, their future and the society at large as we all continue to help wage war against teenage depression.
Do have a blissful week ahead as we continue with the song again, ‘Don’t worry; Be happy’.