4 November 2013
Freedom From Depression
Tommy is a well behaved child. He has many friends. He is quite popular, and to many people, he is the happiest person in the world. Sadly, everything people see is just a brave face Tommy has on so nobody realizes he is depressed. Like many kids Tommy’s age, he is afraid to ask for help. Tommy does not want people to think he has mental problems, or that he needs to see a therapist. To Tommy therapy is embarrassing, but this fact costs Tommy his life. As many as one in thirty-three teenagers are affected by depression in the world. (Lyness). Teenage depression can affect any teenager, and it is not just a bad mood. Depression can lead to alcoholism, drug addiction, self-harm, and even pregnancy, violence, and suicide. Though the teenage years are considered some of the most difficult years of a person’s life, and points of sadness or anger are expected, depression can destroy a teenager’s personality completely.
Many therapists disagree about the true causes of depression in teens; some boil it down to the severe cases of bullying that occur almost daily in most schools, while others blame parents for not being around enough. Some causes of depression can be the incredible amount of pressure teens face. Pressure from the changes occurring during puberty force teens to question who they are, or the start of conflicts that occur between a growing child and parents can makes it more difficult to differentiate the difference between teenage moodiness and depression. Teenage depression can cause a teen to feel worthless, and make him extremely vulnerable to criticism. Depression can cause a teen to have difficulty concentrating, a loss of interest in activities, fatigue or lack of energy, and even thoughts of death or suicide (Lyness). Sometimes bullying can cause a teen to feel depressed. If a child who is already questioning whether or not he is meant to be on this planet, is reminded by another person that he is not liked, he can begin to believe it more and more until, finally one day he chooses what he believes is the easiest way to escape all the pressure and can possibly commit suicide.
The three main forms of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and manic depression (Lyness). In addition to the normal feelings of sadness that all teens are faced with at some point in their lives, depression causes a child to feel worthless, and can interfere with day to day activities such as sleeping or eating. Besides the feeling of sadness, teens can appear to be in a bad mood, or can appear irritated for long periods of time. Most teens with major depression feel depressed almost every day (Smith). Dysthymia is a less serious form of depression that can lead to major depression. A teen diagnosed with dysthymia tends to have a low self esteem, a sense of hopelessness, and may have problems eating and sleeping. Unlike major depression, dysthymia does not interfere with day-to-day functioning (Lyness). Bipolar disorder or manic depression makes teens experience episodes of sadness, hopelessness, irritability or an explosive temper. Most experts believe that manic depression can lead to many different problems such as attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and changes in mood from depression to mania (Lyness).
Many different causes can lead to depression. Most therapists believe stress can be the largest factor. Sometimes the loss of a loved one such as a death in the family, or even the break up with a girlfriend/boyfriend can cause the teen to plunge into a sea of sadness or hopelessness. Other times a move to a different area can cause a teen to lose his friends and begin to feel left out or alone (Smith). Besides the