Mental Health of Young Australians, Focused on Depression in 12-24 Years Olds and Variations of the Disease in Young Australians.

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Assignment 3: Mental health of young Australians, Focused on depression in 12-24 years olds and variations of the disease in young Australians.

Part 1: Epidemiology of depression

In Australia the third leading disability burden on the country are mental disorders accounting for almost 30% of the total years lost due to disabilities (1). In 2007 among young Australians mental health problems and disorders account for the largest burden of disease in the age bracket 12-24 year olds. (2) Of anxiety, depression and substance disorders depression accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of all cases in this age group. (2) Depression is used to describe ‘transient states of low mood experienced by people at sometime in their life through severe psychiatric disorders’ (3). Depression is a serious illness, people feel low, sad and hopeless intensely for long periods of time and without reason (4). Depression can lead to isolation and reclusive behaviors making it extremely hard for people to participate in normal everyday activities (4). For young Australians to be withdrawing from society at such a young age is a worrying factor as all these individuals are valuable to the community.

Within this age bracket young people are more vulnerable to depression from 14-16 year of age to 24 (2), Developing from a teenager to a young adult is sometimes an extremely stressful part of life and can cause many individuals huge difficulty.

Although mental health disorders are the leading burden of disease in young people the mortality rates are quite hard to quantify. A symptom associated with depression is thoughts of sadness and worthlessness leading to thoughts of self harm (4). The leading cause of death associated with depression is young people taking their own life and committing suicide (2). In 2007 10 per 100,000 15-24 year olds committed suicide (Table 1). Data associated with the whole Australian population and suicide rates where available for 1998 showing trends in the relation between mental health and suicide, 15.1% of males who had committed suicide suffered from a mental health problem and 18.2% of women (Table 2). The prevalence of affective mental disorders was 161.4 per 100,000 16-24 year old Australians, with depressive episodes accounting for 72.4 per 100,000 of affective mental disorders in 2007 (table 3). Mental disorders anxiety and depression account for 14% of the non-fatal burden of disease among Australians in 2003 (Table 4).

Between 12-24 under half of the ages across the population may still be enrolled in secondary education and the other half may be considering tertiary education. A key indicator for health in young people is Education levels and literacy skills which could effect behavioral and social decisions they are undertaking. Such as over consumption of drugs and alcohol or social smoking unaware of the implications it may have on your health as you have not received an education. Other indicators would include the culture of the individuals as in 12-24 year olds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are at their highest population in this sub group (2). The living status of young people and family associated with this is a factor influencing the well being of the sub group (2). Unfortunately this indicator can be directly related at times with other indicated such as social economic status and unemployment.

Part 2: Variations in the health status of a population

Society is forever changing, growing and developing everyday new social media apps are created and the world becomes smaller and smaller. Variations in health status’ vary just like changes in society. Factors on a population level such as what gender you are or the family you are born into are out of your control and can heavily influence how you rate your health and well being today. Among young people 12-24 year olds in...
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