Adolescent depression

Essay by meliska2003College, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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Adolescent Depression

Everyone 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 Depression in adolescents has often been overlooked since teenagers are considered moody and withdrawn, yet one out of every ten teenagers are diagnosed every day (Hyde and Forsyth).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,