This in-depth article is dedicated to thoroughly explore and define the question of what is teen depression? Although depression most commonly develops between the ages of 20-30, it is still quite prevalent in teens as well. Is it genetic, biological, environmental or psychological? Bio-psychosocial depression is defined as genetic, biological, environmental and psychological as its cause.
Some say depression is an illness.
Some say it is an emotion.
Others believe it is merely an attitude or life view.
Some doctors say medications are the only true cure.
Some say psychotherapy that teaches you to adjust your self-perceptions is the best solution.
Others believe that there is really no cure at all.
So, is teen depression actually a game of multiple choice where you pick the definition that best suits your purposes? Sometimes it would seem that way: scientists, doctors, counselors, and even a few self-declared experts are all promoting their ideas and claiming them to be fact. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. How severe they are, how frequent, and how long they last will vary. It depends on the individual and his or her particular illness. Here are common symptoms people with depression experience:
difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
fatigue and decreased energy
feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
no pleasure left in life any more
overeating or appetite loss
persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
experimenting with drugs
breaking household rules
thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
While these are common symptoms of teen depression, they may also occur in patterns. The truth is teen depression is very complex, there is no easy answer; In fact, no one really completely understands how teen depression works or why it causes particular symptoms. A treatment that is effective for one teen may not necessarily work for another, and that can be very frustrating to the clinically depressed. And, although several causes have been proposed, there is no definitive proof. For every study that supports a particular theory of what is teen depression,there seems to be one that refutes its findings. Some arguments are just plain silly and obviously come from the uneducated ramblings of someone whose life has never been touched by teen depression. However, others seem to have enough scientific backing to at least deserve some consideration.
Teen depression is not something that you can just “snap out of”. Ignoring it will not make it go away. Holding your head up high, putting on a happy face, and pretending all is right in the world will not send it running. It is not about keeping the right attitude so you can get through a bad day at school, or even a challenging period – teen depression is about surviving in a darkness that completely changes your reality. So what is teen depression? Well, teen depression is about finding ways to fight that darkness, and win!
Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, states, “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. The fog is like a cage without a key.” So, telling a clinically depressed person to “shake it off”, “press on”, and keep a positive attitude “the sun will come up tomorrow” keeping a positive attitude is like telling a blind person to drive a car by pretending they can see. Teen depression is not a sign of weakness, it is not a ploy for attention or sympathy, it is not an act of self pity, and you cannot simply “will” it away. It is important to understand that teen depression is a very serious illness – one that usually requires professional or medical intervention. Without some sort of treatment, most teens will not recover.
Teen depression is also known as clinical depression, unipolar disorder, or recurrent depressive disorder. Depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that adversely impact a teens ability to sleep, eat, enjoy once-pleasurable activities, and carry out the functions of school and everyday life. In some cases, it can be continuous, but most of the time it comes in episodes. Some teens may only experience one episode, while others can battle the condition their entire lives. Depression is often difficult to diagnose, and even treat, because there are so many different types with a variety of symptoms and, often one type of depression can evolve into another, especially if treatment is not received. So, Don’t Hesitate to Seek Help!