Signs, symptoms and contributing factors
Depression is a serious mental disorder that could lead to death by suicide if not taken seriously and treated. Depression in adolescents (age group of 12-17) can affect school and work performance, peer and family relationships, and even exacerbate other health issues like asthma. According to childStats.gov statistics, in 2011 about 8% of the population age 12-17 had a major depressive episode. According to the medical Merriam-Webster online dictionary, there are several signs and symptoms of depressions that may vary in frequency, duration, intensity. These are: sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping; feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or suicide attempt. Other risks factors for depression include being female, African-American, living in poverty, having a certain chronic medical condition such as diabetes, obesity, chronic pain. Sometimes, some type of event/ stressor, like moving out, a relationship break-up, having been the victim or witness of violence, having few friends, becoming socially isolated or bullied, having a negative self-esteem, could trigger a depression episode. Primary, secondary and tertiary methods of adolescent depression prevention Different methods could be used to prevent depression among adolescents. Primary prevention strategies may focus on: reducing the person’s vulnerability by instituting for example school programmes to improve the adolescents’ coping skills when facing people and life ( surgery, cancer, bullying); and also on in trying to improve parent-child interactions by providing counselling to both parties to improve familial relationships. Secondary prevention should focus on: one hand early detection through education of teachers, school nurses and the adolescent population, and through performing routine screening questionnaires in school; on...
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