Natural history of adolescent depression essay


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Depression is the commonest mooddisorder among the adolescents in the United States. When oneis experiencing severe symptoms of depression, their feelings,thoughts, and daily activities such as sleeping, talking, walking,and reading get affected. The diagnosis of depression depends on theperiod one experiences the typical symptoms. It must be more than twoweeks. Because adolescents are still developing and are beginning toexperience problems in life, their susceptibility to depression ishigh.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health(NSDUH), 2.8 million adolescents who were between 12 and 17 years in2014 experienced at least an episode of major depression in theprevious years. At any time in their life, 3 to 9 percent ofteenagers meet the depression criteria. Twenty percent of people intheir adulthood report having experienced at least one depressiveepisode in their adolescent stage. In the U.S psychiatric hospitals,physicians fail to recognize depression in 30 to 50 percent ofteenagers. Around 8.3 percent of teens have had depression at anytime in their life. A very high number of them will suffer more thanone episode of depression. The statistics include twenty to fortypercent who, in the previous two years, have experienced more thanone episode. Seventy percent of people have suffered two or moreepisodes before adulthood. The incidence of depression iselevated in the states and at the national level because ofthe dominant predisposing factors such as drug abuse, familyproblems, bullying in school, and sexual assault. Suicide due todepression is the 3rd principal cause of mortality inadolescents in the United States. This information indicates howadolescents suffer from depression (&quotDepression in Adolescents&quot,2016).

This topic is essential to me because of various factors.In my neighborhood, many teenagers endure a lot of problems rangingfrom abusive parents, disabilities, social discrimination and others.I feel like I am indebted to them because they are at risk ofdeveloping depression, and probably a large number of them have italready. Also, nurses have a direct contact with the community, andas such, it is easier for them to identify this mood disorder, andsolve it in time. The prevalence and incidence of depression amongthe adolescents are high, and therefore, the topic shall empower meon the real facts. With these facts, I can foster change in thecommunity through education programs, and appeal to the authoritiesresponsible for mental disorders. In my teenageyears, I had various episodes of depression. I was sufferingin silence, and my parents realized it. They took me to a hospitalwhere I got help. I feel that I can also help others to recuperate.

Initially, adolescent depression had been considered asbeing acute and self-limiting, and could disappear after 6 to 9months since its onset. These facts have changed because depressioncan lead to detrimental effects such as suicide. In thepre-pathogenesis phase, adolescents are susceptible to depression dueto many factors. For instance, family issues are very rampant in theU.S, in every five families, one faces a threat of divorce, and thechildren suffer the most due to depression. Adolescents are also atrisk of peer influence and most of them engage in substance abuse.This activity can cause drug-induced depression. Many teenagers whohave disabilities also develop depression when there is no help.Nursing interventions such as education and primary prevention canassist the susceptible groups. Family support and government programsalso prevent the resurgence of depression. In the subclinical stage,the adolescent usually has depression but does not meet thediagnostic criteria. They may experience withdrawal symptoms,isolation, and anxiety. Chronic Mild Stress (CMS) environmental modelproduces symptoms like helplessness and anhedonia, and these symptomsmay be encountered in the subclinicalstage. Prevention is mainly secondary because of mild exposure. Theprimary nursing intervention relies on secondary prevention. Supportfor the adolescents is essential, problem-solving skills andpromoting their engagement in community development activities suchas playing soccer for a local team, cleaning the streets and othersare paramount as well. These activities keep them active, hencepreventing depression. The clinical stage involves experiencing thetypical symptoms, which can be diagnosedwith depression. They may isolate themselves from daily activities,and violence. Sometimes, suicidal ideations also develop. At thisstage, treatment with antidepressants is essential. Also,psychotherapeutic interventions such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT) are effective. If untreated, they may engage in poor sexualbehaviors contracting STIs, and even commit suicide. After extendedtreatment, they may resume to the normal state, but others willalways depend on the medications throughout their life (&quotDepressionIn Adolescents&quot, 2016).

Prevention of depression among adolescents is veryessential. The primary prevention aims at the risk factors and therisk groups. The United States has established preschool and prenatalprograms in neonates up to 5 years. It provides support, preventsadversities, and promotes home stimulation. It promotes preventionthrough preparedness before reaching adolescence. Training them inthinking positively, and educating parents on childcare also supportthe management of depression. A prevention that isdepression-specific like CBT also reduces its incidence. Researchindicates that depression in adolescents issubstantially lowered by CBT. Secondary prevention measuresinclude the use of antidepressant drugs like fluoxetine inalleviating the symptoms. The government can also initiate programsthat target depressed teenagers so that they can be accessed. Theseprograms can be helpful to those who suffer in silence. Performingregular Mental Status Examinations (MSE) to the diagnosed groups canhelp spot comorbidities and manage them in time.

Depression is a serious problem in adolescents, and ifthe federal and state governments do not intervene in time, manyabilities and talents shall be lost to suicide. The majorconstituents of the American population are youths, and they areprone to mental disorders. I insist on preventive measures because,once depression sets in, many people struggle to manage it, andsometimes fail. The adolescents are precious, and their potentialshould not be wasted due to manageableconditions like depression. Everybody should take responsibility forpromoting good health in our teenagers.


Depression inAdolescents.(2016).&nbspMentalHealth America.Retrieved 24 May 2016, from