Adolescent Depression Essay

1921 words - 8 pages

Depression is a disease that afflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted tend to act and react abnormally toward others and themselves. Adolescent depression is greatly under diagnosed, and leads to serious difficulties in school, and personal adjustment. The reason why depression is often overlooked in children is because children are not always able to express how they feel. Therefore, teachers should be trained in dealing with depressed youths, and to advise the parents of the child to seek professional treatment. School is the place where children spend most of their waking hours learning, socializing, and growing.

A child needs to be mentally healthy in order to learn properly, and sometimes problems arise at home, with friends, or with themselves. These problems need to be noticed, and talked about. Teachers have to pay attention to adolescents’ behavioral patterns, and work with the child on a one to one basis. The child can then open up and talk freely with the teacher about anything that is on their mind.

Learning disabilities or conduct disorder can put a child in greater risk of depression. Therefore, treating one problem and ignoring the other will not help the child overcome their difficulties (Fassler 63). Family must also play a major role in helping their depressed adolescent. Until the last decade, the commonly held view has been that depression affected persons in their middle years, and did not occur in childhood or adolescence.

A lot has changed in the past decade. Due to systematic followup studies of children under treatment, and depressed parents, the onset of depression occurs during adolescence, and must be treated during adolescence (Weissman 210). Depression has a wide range of symptoms, from being sad or mad to withdrawal from others, or lashing out at others. Symptoms of youth depression are often masked. Instead of expressing sadness, teenagers may express boredom and irritability, or may choose to engage in risky behaviors. Other emotional problems make it hard to recognize depression in a child, but usually overlap with depression.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), is a neurochemical problem which makes it difficult for a child to pay attention or focus. These children are very fidgety, have trouble sitting still, and may interrupt others. New research suggests that out of 1,700 adolescents with this disorder, 16 percent have an accompanying eye disorder that makes focusing on nearby targets difficult. Children with ADHD are three times more likely to develop this insufficiency than others (Dixit 18).

A depressed child may also have a conduct disorder, in which the child consistently violates rules that may be inappropriate for his or her age. Symptoms for this include bullying, stealing, lying, and being consistently disobedient (Fassler 66). Anxiety disorders affect adolescents as well as adults. The disorder may stop a child from participating in daily activities, and leave them...

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