That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. - Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
As teenagers go through stages of puberty, one may become emotionally confused about different events. Teenagers experience stress of gaining or maintaining a new job, increase on schoolwork and misunderstanding parents. As the ups and downs in life occur, some seem to mentally last longer than others. Mental health amongst adolescents is an every day issue. Within a society of rules and norms; mental health problems with teenagers result in different reactions. The top three mental health issues amongst teens are depression, self-harm, and suicide.
Firstly, depression can be linked back to family members with depression. As the genetics pass on so does the mental health issues. For example, if the parent(s) suffered from depression in their teenager years, the child is more likely to suffer around the same time. The genetic risk of developing clinical depression is about 40% (Black Dog, 2013). Secondly, stress can lead to depression. Stress can come from work, family and financial issues. For example, working two jobs and trying to make ends meet can be overwhelming. This can trigger depression as one ends up feeling lonely and unable to do basic things. As a teenager, some are forced to work two jobs in order to provide basic necessities. Thirdly, underemployment or unemployment can cause depression through financial issues (Financial Highway, 2013). Basic necessities cannot be provided for one’s self or family. This contributes to self-esteem as having no money means not having decent clothes or money to go places. For example, at school kids would have the latest fashion styles, phones and lunch money. A teenager in this atmosphere with this situation would have money for one or none of these things. Surrounded with these tribulations can cause depression amongst adolescents.
Secondly, mental health is dealt with through self-harm amongst teenagers. Self-harm can be in different ways such as cutting, ripping and beating one’s self. For example, cutting is the most common way of self-harm. According to Healthy Place, 90 percent of people who engage in self-harm begin during their teen or pre-adolescent years. Cutting also known as self-mutilation can begin from a tender age of 14 and can carry on into transitioning as an adult. Secondly, self-harm can be a physical release of emotional pain. According to studentsagainstdepression.org, it is described as “intense mixture of symbolic meanings – self-punishment, but also a mark of courage; a physical manifestation of inner pain for self and/or others to see; something to hide, but also something with which to shock and hurt others”. Although this sums it up, it could also mean a way of escaping emotional feelings towards situations and life as whole. Thirdly, self-harm and/or self-mutilation can become addicting. For example, instead of taking drugs and alcohol as a way of escape, self-harm is being put in place. The mind can easily transfer its cutting addiction to an addiction to intoxicating substances (Addiction Help Centre, 2012). When dealing with depression, it is quite often that the road to recovery can be a negative one.
Lastly, depression can have a higher outcome of those who contemplate or commit suicide. Suicide has tripled amongst adolescents who have been suffering from depression. For example, men are more likely to commit suicide whereas women attempt suicide more often than men. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Canada. Suicide accounts for almost 24 percent of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16