Depression in Teenagers
As a teenager, I have experienced depression countless number of times. Many times, I just feel sad, and other times, I feel like the world is not worth living in. Innumerable incidents also have occurred where some of my friends get badly depressed. Since many of my friends would try to talk to me about how they feel when they are depressed, I see a lot the pain and dejection they are going through. Through these experiences, depression began to scare me because of how inferior and worthless it can make a person feel, and where these low feelings would lead to. I realized that depression should not be allowed to dominate a person’s life as it would slowly eat him away. I felt I had to find out what depression really is, what causes it, and most of all, how to deal with it.
There are two main types of depression: minor depression and major depression. First of all, minor depression is the type of depression that is encountered most in our lives. It is usually preceded by problems such as adverse relationships, doing badly in school, or the loss of a job. In minor depression, people feel sad and anxious, cry, or are pessimistic. Second, major depression is a type of abnormal depression that might occur when a person experiences trauma such as having a loved one pass away. It can also occur when a person has hormonal imbalances or abuses drugs. In addition to what people feel in minor depression, people in major depression feel helpless and guilty, have insomnia, are lethargic and lose self-esteem.
The causes of depression are not clear-cut, but the biochemistry of the brain, the environment, and personality all seem to have an effect on how prone a person is to depression. The first factor that may cause depression lies in the biochemistry of the brain, specifically the imbalance or shortages of hormones and/or neurotransmitters. Studies have shown that when a deficiency of the neurotransmitter serotonin occurs, the levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine tend to fluctuate. When this neurotransmitter fluctuates, radical mood swings occur. Another factor that may cause depression is the environment. This factor is very general—it encompasses relationship problems, low self-esteem, high stress, and the conditions in which a person studies or works. For example, in a highly-competitive school, a student might be subjected to high stress from large work-loads and self-induced pressure to do well, thus increasing the chance of this student becoming depressed if he does not live up to the standards. Personality is the last but perhaps the most important factor. Studies have shown that people who are extremely self-critical or set unreasonably high goals are more likely to become depressed as they are constantly unhappy with themselves or unable to achieve their goals. Passive or dependent people are also more likely to get depressed because they feel that they don’t have control over what...