Teenage Depressions

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I. Do you ever doubt whether your irritable or unhappy teenager might actually be experiencing teen depression? Of course, most teens feel miserable at times. And when you add hormone havoc to the many other changes happening in a teen's life, it's simple to see why their moods swing like a pendulum. Yet findings show that one out of every eight adolescents has teen depression. But depression can be treated as well as the serious problems connected with it. So if your teen's unhappiness lasts for more than two weeks and he or she displays other symptoms of depression, it may be time to seek help from a health professional. Adolescent depression is a kind of disorder that affects teenagers. It leads to sadness, discouragement, and a loss of self-worth and interest in their usual activities.

II. Causes of teenage depression
a) Depression can be a response to many situations and stresses. In teenagers, depressed mood is common because of: * The normal process of maturing and the stress that occurs with it * The influence of sex hormones

* Independence conflicts with parents
a1) It may also be a reaction to a disturbing event, such as: * The death of a friend or relative
* A breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend
* Failure at school
b) Teens who are most likely to become depressed when they experience stressful events: * Have low self-esteem
* Are very critical of themselves
* Feel little control over negative events
Adolescent girls are twice as likely as boys to experience depression. A family history of depression also puts teenagers at greater risk. c) The following events or situations can cause depression: * Bullying or harassment at school or somewhere else

* Child abuse – physical and sexual
* Lack of social skills
* Learning disabilities
* Long-term illness
* Poor parenting or care giving
* Stressful life events, such as the loss of a parent to death or divorce III. Symptoms
- Often, kids with teen depression will have a noticeable change in their thinking and behaviour. They may have no motivation and even become withdrawn. Kids with teen depression may sleep excessively, have a change in eating habits, and may even exhibit criminal behaviors. Depression can change the way teenagers see themselves, their lives, and the people around them. Teenagers who are depressed usually see everything more negatively. They can't imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way. There are multiple reasons why a teenager might become depressed. For example, teens can develop feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy over their grades. School performance, social status with peers, sexual orientation, or family life can each have a major effect on how a teen feels. Sometimes, teen depression may result from environmental stress. But whatever the cause, when friends or family -- or things that the teen usually enjoys -- don't help to improve his or her sadness or sense of isolation, there's a good chance that he or she has teen depression. a) Some or all of these symptoms of depression may be present: * Appetite changes (usually a loss of appetite but sometimes an increase) * Difficulty concentrating

* Difficulty making decisions
* Episodes of memory loss
* Fatigue
* Feeling upset, restless, and irritable
* Feeling worthless, hopeless, sad, or self-hatred
* Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once fun * Thinking or talking about suicide or death
* Trouble sleeping, too much sleeping, or daytime sleepiness b) Sometimes a person's behavior may change, or there may be problems at home or school without any symptoms of depression: * Acting-out behaviors

* Criminal behavior (such as shoplifting)
* Irresponsible behavior
* Poor school performance, grades dropping
* Pulling away from family and friends, spending more time alone * Use of alcohol or other...
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