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Teenage Depression

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Teenage depression is a growing problem in today's society and is often a major contributing factor for most adolescent problems. According to McCarthy, Downes, and Sherman, depression potentially affects a youth's overall well-being, interpersonal relationships, academic performance, as well as family and support systems. More importantly depression is often related to suicide, the third leading cause of death for teenagers aged 15-24 (2008, p. 49-50). The statistics about teenage runaways, alcoholism, drug problems, pregnancy, eating disorders, and suicide are alarming. The common link to all of these crises is often depression. The path into adolescence is a difficult one, and the choices a teen makes can leave lasting scars on the lives of an entire generation of young men and women. There is a growing realization that teenage depression can be life changing, even life- threatening. Depression can be described in many ways. Its main description is that it is a serious mental disorder in which a person suffers long periods of sadness, loneliness, and other negative feelings. The young African American teenager in the video, Day For Night: Recognizing Teenage Depression, described depression as _

Depression in teenagers is often overlooked, and is rarely treated or even diagnosed. Many parents tend to view their teenager's bad mood as just another teenage trait. Brown (1996) has said the reason why depression is often over looked in children and adolescents is 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. Adolescence is a time of emotional turmoil, mood swings, gloomy thoughts, and heightened sensitivity. It is a time of rebellion and experimentation.

"Adolescents and young adults often experience stress, confusion, and depression from situations occurring within their families, schools, and communities. Such feelings can overwhelm young people and lead them to consider suicide as a solution" (McCarthy, Downes & Sherman,2008 p. 50)Teenagers have so much to deal with in today's society that depression can come easily. If left untreated, it can become a much more serious issue. With pressure at school, family situations, and the necessity of making serious life choices at a young age, depression may make such a sudden impact even the teenager may not know that he or she is suffering with this disorder.



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