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Adolescent Depression Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

Adolescent DepressionEveryone has bad days but when bad days turn into bad weeks it is time to see a doctor. Adolescent depression is described as "a disorder occurring during the teenage years marked by persistent sadness, discouragement, loss of self worth, and loss of interest in usual activities" (MEDLINE plus Medical Encyclopedia). Depression in adolescents has often been overlooked since teenagers are considered moody and withdrawn, yet one out of every ten teenagers are diagnosed every day (Hyde and Forsyth). Also, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, "health care professionals are reluctant to prematurely "label" a young person with a mental illness diagnosis"(author). Depression has been a problem since the beginning of time. There are many different types of depression, but the cause, symptoms, and treatment are all similar.The history of depression can be traced back to the prehistoric time. The Hebrews thought that it was a punishment for sins and if one repented the priests could cure it (Hyde and Forsyth). Hypocrites, of fourth century B.C., said that the "humors"(blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile) were unbalanced. Claudius Galen, a Roman physician of second century A.D., wrote on Melancholia. This helped improve theories of depression was the result of demons. In 1773, in Williamsburg, Virginia, a mental asylum was opened. People in the asylum had to follow strict rules and were beaten and starved if they broke them. Around the 1790's Benjamin Rush started introducing the thought that people with depression were sick and needed medical treatment not abuse. Sigmund Freud helped the public understand that depression "comes from anger turned against oneself." Now, in the twenty-first century, doctors know that depression comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain (Hyde and Forsyth)There are many types of depression including dysthymia, psychotic, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. Dysthymia is a milder form that a patient has from the time they were a child, through adolescence and into adulthood. Dysthymia is often followed by other disorders such as bipolar or major depression. (Hyde and Forsyth) Adolescences with dysthymia can't remember a time when they were truly happy. Psychotic depression is when a teen is paranoid and thinks everyone is "out to get them". They may experience hallucinations. Psychotic despression is the most serious and rare form of depression. Bipolar disorder, also know as manic-depressive disorder, is when a teenager has times of wellness as well as major depression and mania. Adolescents with bipolar disorder tend to feel either exceptionally well or extremely depressed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health "twenty to forty percent of adolescents with major depression will develop bipolar disorder within five years of depression onset." Seasonal affective disorder is a fairly common form of depression when adolescents become more depressed as the weather...

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