Adolescent Depression Essay 3

Topics: Major depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder, Dysthymia Pages: 5 (1536 words) Published: December 2, 2007
Adolescent Depression

Depression is something that I really have had no experience with in my life. Personally, I might have thought about killing myself figuratively at one specific point in my life. I thought about what the consequences would be and how it would effect the people who surround me in my life. As soon as these thoughts raced through my mind, I quickly realized that suicide is the wrong way to deal with life. I know that depression plays an essential role when dealing with suicide. There are three main depressive orders: Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, and Bipolar Disorder.

Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptom list) that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities (NIMH, 2006). This form may only occur once in a lifetime, but more commonly occurs several times. Some of the symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, or fatigue. Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every single symptom out there.

Dysthymic disorder is less severe, but more chronic form of depression. It is diagnosed when the patient has been in a depressed mood for one year and usually comes with at least two different symptoms of major depression. These symptoms do not disable its patient, but hold them back from functioning well in life's daily activities. Dysthymia is associated with an increased risk for developing major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse (Birmaher et al, 1996).

The third type is bipolar disorder, which is also called manic-depressive illness. It affects adolescents more often than it does children, but is more likely to affect the children whose parents have the disorder. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression) (NIMH, 2006). Twenty to 40 percent of adolescents with major depression develop bipolar disorder within 5 years after depression onset (Birmaher, 1996).

Depression is one of this countries most prevalent disorders. A number of epidemiological studies have reported that up to 2.5 percent of children and up to 8.3 percent of adolescents in the U.S. suffer from depression (Birmaher et al, 1996). Research is finding that depression is occurring earlier in life today than in past decades. Depression in young people often co-occurs with other mental disorders, most commonly anxiety, disruptive behavior, or substance abuse disorders (Angold et al, 1993).

Like I mentioned earlier, depression in adolescents is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. In 1997, suicide was the third leading cause of death in 10- to 24-year-olds (National Center for Health Statistics, 1999). This statistic alone goes to show how much our society needs to focus its attention to this issue. Friends and family should take all form of threats seriously if they want to prevent someone close to them from death.

Adolescents have an equal risk for depressive disorders. In today's society, teens are very vulnerable to depressive disorders. Children who develop major depression are more likely to have a family history of the disorder, often a parent who experienced depression at an early age, than patients with adolescent- or adult-onset depression (Harrington et al, 1997). The correlation between this fact and adolescents isn't as high as it is for children. Some of the risk factors include stress, loss of a loved one, abuse, trauma, breaking off a romantic relationship, and even cigarette smoking. Stress seems to be the biggest factor out of all of them, especially for adolescents who have not found out who they are yet. Some potential sources for stress include environmental, organizational, and individual factors. Environmental factors are things like new technology, horrid climatic conditions, or the general work...
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