This is a journal essay i did in psychology on adolescent depression and risk factors.

Essay by drfox17University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2003

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Adolescent Depression And Risk Factors

Adolescent Depression And Risk Factors

Depression is a disease that afflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted act and reach abnormally toward others and themselves. Therefore it comes to no surprise to discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicide. It is now responsible for more deaths in youth aged 15 to 19 than cardiovascular disease or cancer. Despite this increased suicide rate, depression in this age group is greatly under diagnosed and leads to serious difficulties in school, work and personal lives. Mood disorders in children are very prevalent and when should an adolescent with changes in mood be considered clinically depressed? Many say the reason why depression is often over looked in children and teenagers are because "children are not always able to express how they feel." Sometimes the symptoms of mood disorders take on different forms in children than in adults.

Being a teenager is a time of emotional turmoil, mood swings, and gloomy thoughts. It is also a time of rebellion and experimentation observed that the "challenge is to identify depressive symptoms which may be superimposed on the backdrop of a more transient, but expected, developmental storm." Eiche 2 Therefore, diagnosis should not lye only in the doctors' hands but should be aided with parents, teachers and anyone who interacts with the child on a daily basis. Unlike adult depression, 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. Mood disorders are often accompanied by other psychological problems such as anxiety, eating disorders, hyperactivity, substance abuse and suicide. All of which can hide depressive symptoms. The signs of clinical depression include marked changes in mood and associated behaviors...