Problems Related to Identifying, Diagnosing and Assessing Depression in Adolescents When Taking Into Account Gender and Other Contextual Factors.

Topics: Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Bipolar disorder Pages: 11 (3538 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Problems related to identifying, diagnosing and assessing depression in adolescents when taking into account gender and other contextual factors.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Developmental stage of adolescence
Defining mood disorders
Mood disorders in adolescents
Diagnosing and classifying depression in adolescents
Assessment and treatment of depression in adolescents
How gender influences depression in adolescents
Contextual factors related to depression in adolescents
Other factors that influence depression in adolescents
The problem with the diagnosis and assessment of depression in adolescents Conclusion
References consulted

Introduction
In this essay I will discuss the problems related to identifying, diagnosing and assessing depression in adolescents. I will do this by looking at the developmental stage of adolescents; defining mood disorders especially depressive mood disorders in adolescents. I will discuss how depression is diagnosed and assessed n adolescents. I will also discuss the factors that influence depression in adolescents. Finally I will discuss the various problems related to classifying, diagnosing, assessing and treating depression in adolescence. Developmental stages of adolescence

According to the Reader on selected Social issues, “the adolescent stage is divided into 3 stages; which are child, mid-adolescence and adult adolescence. Where during child adolescence the individual is learning to cope with the demands of rapid physical growth, during mid-adolescence the individual begins experimenting with developmental changes in a number of different areas and during adult adolescence the individual then forms a meaningful and stable personal identity as well as taking mature decisions with regard to their future.” (2010:73). During child adolescence the individual begins to struggle with a sense of identity, they feel awkward about themselves and their body; worrying about being normal. They begin to realise that parents are not perfect resulting in increased conflict with parents. There is increased influence of peer group and a desire for independence. Often times they develop moodiness and rule- and limit-testing. They also develop a greater interest in privacy. During mid-adolescence the individual is faced with intense self-involvement, changing between high expectations and poor self-concept. The continued adjustment to their changing body leads to continued worries about being normal. They develop a tendency to distance selves from parents and have a continued drive for independence. They are driven to make friends and place a greater reliance on them where popularity becomes an important issue. They also develop feelings of love and passion. During adult adolescence the individual has a firmer sense of identity. They have increased emotional stability and increased concern for others; they also have increased independence and self-reliance. Peer relationships remain important and they have developed more serious relationships while social and cultural traditions regain some of their importance.

Defining mood disorders
Mash and Wolfe in Abnormal Child Psychology, broadly define a mood as a “feeling or emotion such as sadness, anger or crankiness.” They also define a mood disorder as where “a disturbance in mood is the central feature.” (2010: 232) Mood disorders can be described as disorders characterised by periods of depression sometimes alternating with periods of elevated mood. Mood disorders, also referred to as affective disorders, can also be defined as a condition impacting mood and related functions. The DSM-IV-TR divides mood disorders into two general categories, known as depressive disorders and bipolar disorders. Mood disorders and depression in adolescents

Adolescent depression is a disorder that affects teenagers. It leads to sadness, discouragement, and a loss of self-worth and interest in their usual activities. Mash and Wolfe in Abnormal Child...

References: consulted
* Mash, E.J. & Wolfe, D.A. (2010). Abnormal child psychology (4thed). Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
* Bezuidenhout, F.J. (Ed.)(2010). A Reader on Selected Social Issues (4th ed.). Pretoria: Van Schaik.
* Crowe, M., Ward, N., Dunnachie, B., & Roberts, M. (2006). Characteristics of adolescent depression.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.
* Han W.J., & Miller D.P. (2009). Parental work schedules and adolescent depression.
Health Sociology Review, 18, 36 – 49.
* Page, R.M., & Hall, C.P. (2009). Psychosocial distress and alcohol use as factors in adolescent behaviour among sub-Saharan African adolescents.
Journal of school health.
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