Adolescent Depression Causes, Signs, and Prevention
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One of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers is suicide. The Centers for Disease control report that it is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. Teen suicide is a very real issue today in the United States. It is important to recognize the fact that the suicide rate amongst teenagers is on the rise.
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In order to prevent teen suicide, it is vital to recognize what leads to it, and then treat the causes. There are several different factors that made lead a teenager to take his or her life, but the most common is depression. Feelings of hopelessness and anxiety, along with feelings of being trapped in a life that one can’t handle, are very real contributors to teen suicide. In some cases, teenagers believe that suicide is the only way to solve their problems. The pressures of life seem too much to cope with, and some teenager look at suicide as a welcome escape. Inability to find success at school. Death of someone close to the teenager.
The suicide of a friend or someone he or she “knows” online. It is important to be on the look out for signs that your teen may attempt suicide. What is so difficult about some of these warning signs of teen suicide is that some of them are similar to normal adolescent behavior. The teenage years are a trying time, and sometimes normal behavior looks a lot like possibly destructive behavior. Often, preventing teen suicide means treating teen depression. It is possible to get professional help in preventing teen suicide.
Indeed, this is a preferred option. If you are concerned about your teenager, talk to your child’s doctor about the available options and therapies for teen depression. This can be done individually or as a family. Techniques allow your teenager to learn to cope with life. This is treatment in which a suicidal teen goes elsewhere to live for a time. This can be a special treatment facility, or it can be a therapeutic boarding school. 7 in order to prevent a suicide attempt.
Additionally, most residential treatment facilities have trained professional staff that can help a suicidal teen. This is often seen as a last resort, or as something complementary to other treatments. Carefully consider your teen’s needs before medicating. It is important to treat your child with respect and understanding. Show your unconditional love, and offer emotional support.
It is important that a teen considering suicide feel loved and wanted. Show your teenager that it is possible to overcome life’s challenges, and make sure that he or she knows that you are willing to help out. Get help for a troubled teen suffering from depression. Residential Treatment Centers for Troubled Teens. The Facts Note: This article is not intended as a replacement for suicide counselling.
If you or someone you know may be at risk of committing suicide, contact emergency services in your area immediately to get professional advice. Your local phone book will have the telephone numbers of distress lines and support agencies. Suicide is the second leading cause of death – following motor vehicle accidents – among teenagers and young adults. On average, adolescents aged 15 to 19 years have an annual suicide rate of about 1 in 10,000 people. Gay and lesbian adolescents are more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
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Suicide rates are 5 to 7 times higher among First Nations and Inuit teens. The teen years are an anxious and unsettling period as boys and girls face the difficulties of transition into adulthood. It is a period in life that is often confusing, leaving teens feeling isolated from family or peers. Unfortunately, some may at one point or another perceive suicide as a permanent answer to problems that are more often than not just temporary. The self doubts, confusion, and pressures to succeed or conform can come at a high price for troubled adolescents. Girls generally attempt suicide more often than boys, but boys are about 4 times more likely to die from the suicide attempt.
This is because the methods that boys choose – often using firearms or hanging – are more lethal than those chosen by girls, namely drug overdoses or cutting themselves. Causes Many troubling and difficult situations can make a teen consider suicide. The same emotional states that make adults vulnerable to considering suicide also apply to adolescents. Apart from the normal pressures of teen life, specific circumstances can contribute to an adolescent’s consideration of suicide. Many suicides are committed by people who are depressed. Depression is a mental health disorder.
It causes chemical imbalances in the brain, which can lead to despondency, lethargy, or general apathy towards life. Almost half of 14- and 15-year-olds have reported feeling some symptoms of depression, which makes coping with the extensive stresses of adolescence all the more difficult. Another serious problem that can lead teens to suicide – or aid in their plans to end their lives – is the easy access many of them have to firearms, drugs, alcohol, and motor vehicles. Warning signs and risk factors Suicidal tendencies don’t just appear out of the blue: People usually display a number of warning signs when things seem so wrong in their lives that they’ve simply given up hope. Because adolescence is such a turbulent time, it may be difficult to distinguish the signs that lead to suicide from the changing, sometimes uncertain but otherwise normal behaviour of teens.
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Though many suicidal teens appear depressed or downcast, others hide their problems underneath a disguise of excess energy. If an adolescent starts displaying uncharacteristic agitation and hyperactivity, it may also signal the existence of an underlying problem. This restlessness may take the form of confrontational or aggressive behaviour. More obvious signs that an adolescent may be suicidal include low self-esteem and self-deprecating remarks. Some teens come right out and talk or write about their suicidal thoughts – this should be taken seriously, and not ignored with the hope that it’s a passing phase.
Any previous attempts at suicide are loud and clear cries for help, which demand responses before it’s too late. How to help It’s essential that you take suicidal behaviour or previous attempts seriously – and get assistance quickly. Aside from professional treatment, a suicidal teen needs to know there are people who care, and who are available to talk to. Good support means listening to what’s troubling somebody without passing judgment on his or her feelings. A person should be reassured that there are always solutions to problems or ways other than suicide for coping with them.
Don’t hesitate to bring up the subject of suicide, and to ask direct questions. Somebody who hasn’t considered ending their life isn’t going to adopt the idea simply because the possibility has been raised. On the other hand, for individuals who are thinking about suicide, your concern will only be reassuring. At the same time, people can take the opportunity to open up about their distress. Some parents may find that their adolescent child resists their advances and isn’t willing to confide in them. When teens insist their parents just “don’t understand,” it might be a good idea to suggest they talk to a more objective or emotionally neutral person. This can include other family members, religious leaders, a school counsellor, a coach, or a trusted doctor.
Restricting access to firearms and ammunition is also an important preventive measure. Weapons kept in the home increase the risk that suicide attempts will be successful, by giving a suicidal adolescent the means to take their own life. Getting treatment It is very important to seek professional help for the adolescent who may be suicidal. Guidance counsellors at schools or counsellors at crisis centres can help ensure that a distressed teen receives the needed assistance.
As the vast majority of adolescents who commit suicide have depressive symptoms, recognition and evaluation of clinical depression – a treatable medical condition – is essential. Physicians, including psychiatrists, provide both one-on-one counselling and medical treatment for the biochemical causes of depression. Psychological counselling will help a teen develop effective mechanisms for coping with problems. These will be of value long after adolescence has ended, when a person has to face many of the stresses routinely encountered during adulthood. Emergency assistance Telephone counselling and suicide hotline services, available in most cities and regions, can be found in the telephone book. They offer counselling for a crisis situation, and can provide the immediate support an adolescent may need to survive a low point. Another place to go during a crisis or in a suicidal state is the emergency ward of a hospital.
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Receiving the aid of trained professionals will help an adolescent deal with the emotional roller coaster that often leads to suicide. Short-term and long-term care can minimize the risk of committing suicide and help people find alternative solutions to coping with extreme distress. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Please forward this error screen to 113. More commonly referred to as teenage depression, this mental and emotional disorder is no different medically from adult depression.
However, symptoms in teens may manifest themselves in different ways than in adults due to the different social and developmental challenges facing teens. Depression is associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, and in the worst possible scenarios, suicide. This can lead to social isolation and other problems. It’s a real medical condition that can affect a person’s life in every manner if it’s not treated properly. Estimates from a study published in American Family Physician state that up to 15 percent of children and adolescents have some symptoms of depression. The symptoms of depression can often be difficult for parents to spot. Sometimes, depression is confused with the typical feelings of puberty and teenage adjustment.
However, depression is more than boredom or disinterest in school. Some of these symptoms may not always be signs of depression. If you’ve ever raised a teenager, you know that appetite changes are often normal, namely in times of growth spurts and particularly if your teenager is involved in sports. Still, looking out for changing signs and behaviors in your teen can help them when they’re in need. Call 911 or your local emergency number. Stay with the person until help arrives. Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell. If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. There’s no single known cause of adolescent depression. Differences in the Brain Research has shown that the brains of adolescents are structurally different than the brains of adults. Teens with depression can also have hormone differences and different levels of neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are key chemicals in the brain that affect how brain cells communicate with one another and play an important role in regulating moods and behavior. Traumatic Early Life Events Most children don’t have well-developed coping mechanisms. A traumatic event can leave a lasting impression. Loss of a parent or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse can leave lasting effects on a child’s brain that could contribute to depression. Inherited Traits Research shows that depression has a biological component. It can be passed down from parents to their children.
Children who have one or more close relatives with depression, especially a parent, are more likely to have depression themselves. Learned Patterns of Negative Thinking Teens regularly exposed to pessimistic thinking, especially from their parents, and who learn to feel helpless instead of how to overcome challenges, can also develop depression. For proper treatment, it’s recommended that a psychiatrist or psychologist perform a psychological evaluation, asking your child a series of questions about their moods, behaviors, and thoughts. Your mental health professional may also question you about your child’s behavior and mood. A physical examination may also be used to help rule out other causes of their feelings.
Some medical conditions can also contribute to depression. Just as depression has no single cause, there’s no single treatment to help everyone who has depression. Often, finding the right treatment is a trial and error process. It can take time to determine which treatment works best. Medication Numerous classes of medications are designed to alleviate the symptoms of depression. They’re a preferred treatment because they tend to have fewer side effects than other medications. SSRIs work on the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Research shows that people with depression may have abnormal levels of neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation. SSRIs prevent their body from absorbing serotonin so it can be more effectively used in the brain. Current SSRIs approved by the U. Talk to your doctor if the side effects are interfering with your child’s quality of life. Unlike the others, TCAs work on serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. TCAs aren’t prescribed for people with an enlarged prostate, glaucoma, or heart disease, as this can create serious problems.
This is because of the complications, restrictions, and side effects they may cause. MAOIs block serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, but also affect other chemicals in the body. The warning says that the use of antidepressant medications in young adults aged 18 to 24 have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality. Psychotherapy It’s recommended that your child see a qualified mental health professional before or at the same time as starting medication therapy.
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Talk therapy is the most common type of therapy and includes regular sessions with a psychologist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is guided to replace negative thoughts and emotions with good ones. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on delving into a person’s psyche to help alleviate internal struggles, such as stress or conflict. Problem-solving therapy helps a person find an optimistic route through specific life experiences, such as the loss of a loved one or another transitional period. Enroll your child in a sport they’re interested in, or come up with games to encourage physical activity. Sleep Sleep is important to your teen’s mood.
Make sure they get enough sleep each night and follow a regular bedtime routine. Balanced Diet It takes the body extra energy to process foods high in fat and sugar. These foods can make you feel sluggish. Pack school lunches for your child that are full of a variety of nutritious foods.
Avoid Excess Caffeine Caffeine can momentarily boost mood. Abstain from Alcohol Drinking, especially for teens, can create more problems. People with depression should avoid alcohol. Depression can have a profound impact on your child’s life and can only compound the difficulties associated with teenage years. Adolescent depression isn’t always the easiest condition to spot. However, with proper treatment your child can get the help they need. Is Electroconvulsive Therapy a Miracle Cure for Depression?
The controversial treatment is often considered a last resort when antidepressants fail. Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a common mental health disorder. However, others say it can be addictive and may not do what some claim it can. Best Bipolar Blogs of 2018If you’re living with bipolar disorder, you’re not alone. My Doctor Prescribed Daily HIIT Exercises for My Depression. I put HIIT workouts to the test for a month to see if they’d help me fight off depression during winter months.
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Comedy and tragedy masks without background. Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of depression and mania. Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood. The causes are not clearly understood, but both environmental and genetic factors play a role.
Many genes of small effect contribute to risk. Treatment commonly includes psychotherapy as well as medications such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. The most common age at which symptoms begin is 25. Mania is the defining feature of bipolar disorder and can occur with different levels of severity. With milder levels of mania, known as hypomania, individuals are energetic, excitable, and may be highly productive. People with hypomania or mania may experience a decreased need of sleep, impaired judgment, and speak excessively and very rapidly.
Manic individuals often have a history of substance abuse developed over years as a form of “self-medication”. The onset of a manic or depressive episode is often foreshadowed by sleep disturbances. Mood changes, psychomotor and appetite changes, and an increase in anxiety can also occur up to three weeks before a manic episode develops. Hypomania may feel good to some persons who experience it, though most people who experience hypomania state that the stress of the experience is very painful. Bipolar people who experience hypomania, however, tend to forget the effects of their actions on those around them. Even when family and friends recognize mood swings, the individual will often deny that anything is wrong. The earlier the age of onset, the more likely the first few episodes are to be depressive.
Since a diagnosis of bipolar disorder requires a manic or hypomanic episode, many affected individuals are initially misdiagnosed as having major depression and then incorrectly treated with prescribed antidepressants. In bipolar disorder, mixed state is a condition during which symptoms of both mania and depression occur simultaneously. Individuals experiencing a mixed state may have manic symptoms such as grandiose thoughts while simultaneously experiencing depressive symptoms such as excessive guilt or feeling suicidal. Associated features are clinical phenomena that often accompany the disorder but are not part of the diagnostic criteria. In adults with the condition, bipolar disorder is often accompanied by changes in cognitive processes and abilities. The causes of bipolar disorder likely vary between individuals and the exact mechanism underlying the disorder remains unclear. 80 percent of the risk of developing the disorder indicating a strong hereditary component.
Although the first genetic linkage finding for mania was in 1969, the linkage studies have been inconsistent. Due to the inconsistent findings in GWAS, multiple studies have undertaken the approach of analyzing SNPs in biological pathways. Findings point strongly to heterogeneity, with different genes being implicated in different families. Advanced paternal age has been linked to a somewhat increased chance of bipolar disorder in offspring, consistent with a hypothesis of increased new genetic mutations. Environmental factors play a significant role in the development and course of bipolar disorder, and individual psychosocial variables may interact with genetic dispositions.
It is probable that recent life events and interpersonal relationships contribute to the onset and recurrence of bipolar mood episodes, just as they do for unipolar depression. Less commonly, bipolar disorder or a bipolar-like disorder may occur as a result of or in association with a neurological condition or injury. Manic and depressive episodes tend to be characterized by ventral versus dorsal dysfunction in the ventral prefrontal cortex. During attentional tasks and resting, mania is associated with decreased Orbitofrontal cortex activity, while depression is associated with increased resting metabolism.
Euthymic bipolar people show decreased activity in the lingual gyrus, while people who are manic demonstrate decreased activity in the inferior frontal cortex, while no differences were found in people with bipolar depression. One proposed model for bipolar suggests that hypersensitivity of reward circuits consisting of fronto-striatal circuits causes mania and hyposensitivity of these circuits cause depression. Some of the brain components which have been proposed to play a role are the mitochondria and a sodium ATPase pump. Dopamine, a known neurotransmitter responsible for mood cycling, has been shown to have increased transmission during the manic phase. Glutamate is significantly increased within the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and returns to normal levels once the phase is over.
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Medications used to treat bipolar may exert their effect by modulating intracellular signaling, such as through depleting myo-inositol levels, inhibition of cAMP signaling, and through altering G coupled proteins. Decreased levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, a byproduct of serotonin, are present in the cerebrospinal fluid of persons with bipolar disorder during both the depressed and manic phases. Bipolar disorder is commonly diagnosed during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset can occur throughout the life cycle. There are several other mental disorders with symptoms similar to those seen in bipolar disorder.
Bipolar spectrum disorders includes: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder and cases where subthreshold symptoms are found to cause clinically significant impairment or distress. Unipolar hypomania without accompanying depression has been noted in the medical literature. The DSM and the ICD characterize bipolar disorder as a spectrum of disorders occurring on a continuum. I, but are unnecessary for the diagnosis. Bipolar II disorder: No manic episodes and one or more hypomanic episodes and one or more major depressive episode.
Cyclothymia: A history of hypomanic episodes with periods of depression that do not meet criteria for major depressive episodes. When relevant, specifiers for peripartum onset and with rapid cycling should be used with any subtype. Individuals who have subthreshold symptoms that cause clinically significant distress or impairment, but do not meet full criteria for one of the three subtypes may be diagnosed with other specified or unspecified bipolar disorder. Most people who meet criteria for bipolar disorder experience a number of episodes, on average 0.
7 per year, lasting three to six months. Rapid cycling, however, is a course specifier that may be applied to any of the above subtypes. It is defined as having four or more mood disturbance episodes within a one-year span and is found in a significant proportion of individuals with bipolar disorder. There are a number of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic techniques used to treat bipolar disorder. Individuals may use self-help and pursue recovery. Hospitalization may be required especially with the manic episodes present in bipolar I.
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Psychotherapy is aimed at alleviating core symptoms, recognizing episode triggers, reducing negative expressed emotion in relationships, recognizing prodromal symptoms before full-blown recurrence, and, practicing the factors that lead to maintenance of remission. Lithium is often used to treat bipolar disorder and has the best evidence for reducing suicide. A number of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder. The medication with the best evidence is lithium, which is an effective treatment for acute manic episodes, preventing relapses, and bipolar depression. Lithium and the anticonvulsants carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and valproic acid are used as mood stabilizers to treat bipolar disorder. Antipsychotic medications are effective for short-term treatment of bipolar manic episodes and appear to be superior to lithium and anticonvulsants for this purpose. Atypical antipsychotics are also indicated for bipolar depression refractory to treatment with mood stabilizers.
Antidepressants are not recommended for use alone in the treatment of bipolar disorder and have not been found to be of any benefit over that found with mood stabilizers. Short courses of benzodiazepines may be used in addition to other medications until mood stabilizing become effective. Contrary to widely held views, stimulants are relatively safe in bipolar disorder, and considerable evidence suggests they may even produce an antimanic effect. In cases of comorbid ADHD and bipolar, stimulants may help improve both conditions. Several studies have suggested that omega 3 fatty acids may have beneficial effects on depressive symptoms, but not manic symptoms. However, only a few small studies of variable quality have been published and there is not enough evidence to draw any firm conclusions.
A lifelong condition with periods of partial or full recovery in between recurrent episodes of relapse, bipolar disorder is considered to be a major health problem worldwide because of the increased rates of disability and premature mortality. Compliance with medications is one of the most significant factors that can decrease the rate and severity of relapse and have a positive impact on overall prognosis. Early recognition and intervention also improve prognosis as the symptoms in earlier stages are less severe and more responsive to treatment. Onset after adolescence is connected to better prognoses for both genders, and being male is a protective factor against higher levels of depression.