Depression and Teens - An Overview

Depression and teens or children was a connection unheard of even about ten to fifteen years ago, but today; depression in teens has become a major problem and affects 20% of teenagers in any given year.

Teenage depression can be self-destructive and result in serious irreversible damage to themselves or others, including incidents of homicide and / or suicide. Depressed teens are at a higher risk of abusing drugs and drinking alcohol without understanding the repercussions of cultivating these habits. These tendencies or habits only worsen depression further, where diagnosing and treating the condition along with substance abuse problems become extremely difficult and prolonged.

Depression and teens often go hand in hand because, with the physical and emotional changes one goes through during adolescence, teenagers tend to get carried away with their external appearance and feel that they are under pressure to be accepted by their peers. If there is lack of acknowledgement or acceptance from the peer group, they sometimes cannot handle the rejection and their self confidence and self esteem will take a beating.

At the tender age of 13 through 17, teens are not in a position to decide good from bad and, without knowing what the consequences of their actions are, they start behaving and doing things to impress the group. Unless educated appropriately about drugs and sex, these young people can be damaged for life.

Therefore, it is important for families, friends, and schools to build awareness among teens about the dangers of getting carried away with experimenting. Inevitably, these situations get out of hand, slowly resulting in depression and teens starting to develop self hatred and self loathing. The consequence can be serious teenage depression.

Constant thoughts of being unable to measure up, rejection, guilt, etc, develop a negative stream of mental pattern which could turn into rebellious behavior in some and depression in the rest. Going through for too long untreated depression and teens can have their condition get out of control and become very dangerous, creating irreversible damage by them indulging in acts of homicide or suicide.

More often than not, parents and families write off occasional change in attitude and mood swings as part of teenage behavior and ignore the subtle signs of depression. On their own, the teens are certainly not in a position to recognize these signs and symptoms and sink deeper and deeper into depression. Therefore, timely intervention and professional help for teen depression is of prime importance.

Teens often feel embarrassed to discuss their feelings and emotions with family, and friends who belong to the same age group are not in a position to understand or help. This means that these young people suffer in silence, and end up paying a huge price for something that can be treated and cured. Sink into this spiral of depression and teens can get into big trouble.

Adults in the family, especially parents, should thus make it a point to cultivate the habit of talking to teens as often as possible, try and interact with their friends to understand who they hang out with, meet with their school teachers once every while and see if they are on track, attend conferences and meetings organized by the school, as well as share their views openly with other parents and teachers. This will ensure that all are aware of what is happening in their children's lives and, if there are any slip ups, one can immediately seek professional help for depressed teens and ensure that the child does not suffer.

Children at this age are not able to decipher the magnitude of the problem and will certainly resort to escapist routes by abusing drugs and alcohol, and that will inevitably create further complications. Because of this, teenage depression can be a problematic issue.

Also, if there is a family history of anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression and teens may be more at risk. One must then be extra cautious of teens in the family because these problems have a tendency to exacerbate during the vulnerable teenage years. Help should be sought once depressive symptoms appear.

With constant observation, love, support and timely intervention, one can ensure that the child or teen does not slip into deep depression. By doing our part, we can help to keep teen depression at bay.

More information on teenage depression is covered in the other pages on depression and teens.


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    Related Pages on Teen / Teenage Depression
    Depression and Teens - An Overview
    Signs of Teenage Depression - Common Symptoms
    Causes of Teen Depression
    Teen Depression Treatment
    Help for Teenage Depression
    Depression Quiz For Teens
    Teenage Depression Statistics




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