Depression Teenage Depression As a teenager, the high school years can be complicated and demanding. Deep down, they are not quite sure of who they are, what they want to be, or even whether the choices they make from day to day are the best decisions. Sometimes the many changes and pressures they face threaten to overwhelm them. There are big changes both physically and mentally, so it isn’t surprising that from time to time they start to feel down or discouraged. But what about those times when someone’s activity and outlook on life stays down for weeks and begin to affect them and their relationship with others. If this continues they might be suffering from depression.
Depression is more than the blues or the blahs, it is more than the normal, everyday ups and downs. When that down mood, along with other symptoms, lasts for more than a couple of weeks, the condition may be clinical depression. Clinical depression is a serious health problem that affects the total person. In addition to feelings, it can change behavior, physical health and appearance, academic performance, and the ability to handle everyday decisions and pressures. It is not yet fully understood what causes depression, but there seems to be biological and emotional factors that may increase the likelihood that an individual will develop a depressive disorder. Research over the past decade strongly suggests a genetic link to depressive disorders, depression can run in families.
Bad life experiences and certain personality patterns such as difficulty handling stress, low self-esteem, or extreme pessimism about the future can increase the chances of becoming depressed. Clinical depression is a lot more common than most people think. It affects 10 million Americans every year. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of the teen population experiences clinical depression every year. That means among 100 friends, 4 could be clinically depressed. Depression can be very serious.
It has been linked to poor school performance, truancy, alcohol and drug abuse, running away, and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. In the last 25 years, the rate of suicide among teenagers and young adults has increased dramatically. Suicide often is linked to depression. The good news is that depression is treatable. Between 80 and 90 percent of people with depression, even the most serious forms can be helped.
Symptoms can be relieved quickly with psychological therapies, medications, or a combination of both. The most important step toward treating depression, and sometimes the most difficult for teenagers, is asking for help in the first place. They often fail to recognize the symptoms of depression in themselves, and because they often don’t know they are depressed, they don’t ask for, or get the right help. Psychology.