In the United States alone, it is estimated that severe depression affects more than 15 million people and that 15 percent of them eventually attempt suicide. This is more common than one may think. Depression is now the third-leading cause of death among people aged 14-19, claiming more lives annually than AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined. What is happening to our teenagers that is making them feel that life is so bad that they have to hurt themselves? Isn’t that the question of the year? Well, let’s consider different types of depression, the causes, and some solutions to this problem of teenage depression.
Depression can be very common for teenagers. There are many different types, such as major depression or clinical depression, dysthymia, adjustment disorder with depressed mood, and seasonal affective disorder. Those are only a few examples though. There are over 200 different types of depression, but the ones above are most likely to occur in teens today. Sadness lasting longer than two weeks is a common symptom of major depression. Clinical depression can prevent teens from finding pleasure in activities they once enjoyed. An adult tends to show melancholy behavior when clinically depression, whereas a teen will become more irritable and angry. Other symptoms of major depression may include sleep disorders, slow in motion, lack of concentration, not involved with social events, frequent changes in mood, declined interest in school, poor grades, loss of self-worth, helplessness, hopelessness, low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, and thoughts of death and/or suicide. Dr. Fredrick Goodwin, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, says that it has been found that teens who share their feeling and problems with adults they trust, tend to be less likely to be in depression. Dysthymia disorder holds the same type of characteristics as clinical depression, but not as severe. This is a chronic illness that lasts much longer than major depression...
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