Adolescent years are the most important years for any individual. During this time, the basic psychology is developed among most people. During this time, many children face traumatic experiences that leads to a change in their behavior and psychology (Byrne et al., 2015). One of the greatest problem that adolescents face is depression. This has adverse effect on adolescent mental health. This essay, aims to trace the reasons for which individuals might suffer through mental depression during those vital years and its effect on their behavior and wellbeing.
During the teenage years, the emotions run high and many things affect teenagers that do not affect much to adults. This is also the time that children go through significant biological change. Due to the sudden influx of sex hormones, teenagers feel certain emotions overwhelmingly. Their bodies change and they try to find a new identity in the society. Many of the adolescents might also find it difficult to find their sexual orientation which might lead to further problems in their life. The influx of hormones also change their emotional response. They might have conflicting thoughts which might cause depression among them. Another major reason that children might suffer from depression is due to past traumatic experiences. Children that have seen abusive behavior or faced any, might feel depressed in their adolescent years due to those past experiences that invoke a feeling of helplessness in them.
Depression could also be biological. Studies show that in many cases, children inherit depression from their parents. Children suffering from depression many times have at least have one parent that at least have past history of depression or any other mental disorders. They sometimes may inherit depression from their grandparents as well. The environment that they live in is also a contributing factor for depression. Many of the parents are pessimistic by nature or may become one due to situation (Homma et al., 2012). Children living in such negative environment are likely to feel the same depressive and pessimistic thoughts. Longer exposure to these conditions might lead to permanent depression among children. Disturbed family life and separation between parents might be another reason for which adolescents feel depression. Loss of a parental figure in their life leads to a loss of direction and security, either emotional or financial or both which creates a sense of helplessness and failure. In many cases, adolescents might feel that they are responsible for the separation of their parents which might lead to depression among them.
Childhood trauma and sexual abuse may lead to depression, anxiety and anger among children (Meinck 2016). They might also have trust issues which creates a barrier to them in social situations. More than 30% of females and 10% males report sexual abuse in their childhood and adolescent years. Adolescents that have faced sexual abuse or have witnessed such incidents may feel disinterest in sexual activities, or may feel threatened from people who have any similarity to the offenders. Children suffering from depression shows many emotional and behavioral changes that gives clear indications of instability.
Adolescents showing signs of unexplained lethargy, overeating, excessive sleeping, disinterest to natural activities, irritation and annoyance, low self-esteem, feeling of worthlessness and guilt, lack of concentration and oversensitivity are likely to suffer from depression. They are also likely to inflict self-harm and have suicidal thoughts. They also suffer from many behavioral changes like usage of alcohol and drugs, agitation, stuttering, social isolation, lack of attention, emotional outbursts and violence (Chang et al., 2018). One of the major impact that depression may have is the self-harm and suicidal tendencies among the adolescents.
The problem with depression symbols is that they are common among adolescents as they are also caused by hormonal changes among them. This is why in many cases, parents and educators cannot identify the underlying reasons behind it. Depression is extremely harmful for adolescent wellbeing. In this regard, counselling and consultation in a regular basis is necessary (Özyurt et al., 2018). Parents should keep an eye out for the teenagers and should consult with psychologists if they find anything amiss. The teachers too have a responsibility to report any unusual behavior among children.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that depression is quite common in adolescents. The many reasons that are the causes of depression are widespread. Familial issues, past sexual and emotional abuse, trauma and heredity are common causes. Depression might lead to severe situations like self-harm or suicides. In this regard, the role of parents and teachers are essential in mitigating the risks. Regular counseling with psychologists are helpful in reducing depression and promote mental health among the adolescents.
Byrne, M. L., O’Brien-Simpson, N. M., Mitchell, S. A., & Allen, N. B. (2015). Adolescent-onset depression: are obesity and inflammation developmental mechanisms or outcomes?. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 46(6), 839-850.
Chang, C., Kaczkurkin, A. N., McLean, C. P., & Foa, E. B. (2018). Emotion regulation is associated with PTSD and depression among female adolescent survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 10(3), 319.
Homma, Y., Wang, N., Saewyc, E., & Kishor, N. (2012). The relationship between sexual abuse and risky sexual behavior among adolescent boys: A meta-analysis. Journal of Adolescent Health, 51(1), 18-24.
Meinck, F., Cluver, L. D., Boyes, M. E., & Loening-Voysey, H. (2016). Physical, emotional and sexual adolescent abuse victimisation in South Africa: prevalence, incidence, perpetrators and locations. J Epidemiol Community Health, 70(9), 910-916.
Özyurt, G., Öztürk, Y., Onat, M., Mutlu, C., & Akay, A. (2018). Attachment, emotion regulation and anger expression in adolescent depression: Did comorbid anxiety disorder not have a role?. Current Psychology, 1-10.