Depression on Children and Teens
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Depression on Children and Teens
Depression refers to a medical disorder that that causes a person to persistently feel sad, low or disinterested in daily activities. According to (Mondimore, 2002), depression disorder makes those feelings of sadness and lowness to continue for an extended period. In this topic of depression on children and teens, it is found that there those factors that are related so much to depression. The factors ate like mental health problems, chronic anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders, poor academic performance, traumatic events and family history of disorder. Statistics show that, depression in children have been taken very seriously over the past two decades. The depressed child may pretend to be sick or refuse to go to school. It is very difficult to tell whether a child is undergoing since normal behaviors are usually different from one childhood stage to another. Depression has been linked to other mental illnesses which include anxiety disorders, panic disorders, generalized social disorder and social phobia.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 18% of the adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year. The anxiety disorder is 25% in children and teenagers. According to (Guyol, 2006), depression may affect the mental health of children which may change the day-to-day functioning of the body of children and teenagers. It may greatly affect the sleep of the children and teenagers whereby they may have a problem in falling and staying asleep or sleep much longer than they used to sleep. They may also start waking up very early due to depression. Apart from changing sleep in children and teenagers, it may also lead to change in appetite, loss of energy, lack of interest, low self-esteem, loss of concentration and hopelessness in life.
According to (Barlow, 1991), people with chronic anxiety disorders especially teenagers may find themselves having a lot of thoughts about their death and a lot of worries. This means that they are suicidal or even homicidal. Having been surrounded with these thought, they may find themselves suffering from heart attacks due to increased blood pressure and very terrible diseases. The teenagers are advised to visit a therapist in case they find themselves in these situations. According to (Hendren 1999), children with depression suffer from disruptive behavioral disorder whereby they tend to disturb and disrupt people around them, including their family members, schoolmates, school staff and even peers. These children lose their temper easily, argue with adults, defy adults, deliberately refuse to obey rules, deliberately annoy people, be easily angered and annoyed, blame others for their own mistakes and misbehavior and even be vindictive and spiteful. Children or adolescents with this disorder lack sensitivity to the well-being and the feelings of others. They may act aggressively by making threats and bullying others and even threatening to use weapons to commit some physical cruel acts towards them. They tolerate frustration in a very poor manner and can sometimes direct their anger towards animals.
Depression affects children’s performance greatly. Those students do not complete their homework or may complete and not turn the assignment in. They sit at the back in class and do not participate, doddle on their papers and do not participate in school activities. These students are often seen lazy and they do not respond to typical methods of discipline including penalties, suspensions or encouragements.
Depressed students may appear unmotivated or uncaring about their work, when in fact they are unable to function to their level of ability. Often, they have difficulty with sustaining attention, effort, performance and social relationship. Coaxing, cajoling, punishment, and reinforcement typically have little effect on their behavior and achievement. Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful event that shatter one’s sense of security, making one feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world. According to (Watson 1998) depressed teenagers go through a traumatic experience such that they are struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories or a sense of constant danger. One may feel numb, disconnected and unable to trust other people. Experiencing trauma in childhood can have a severe and long-lasting effect. Those children who suffer from trauma see the world as a frightening and dangerous place. When childhood trauma is not resolved, this fundamental sense of fear and helplessness carries over into adulthood, setting the stage for further trauma. Children suffer from trauma as a result of anything that disrupts a child’s sense of safety and security. It may also be as a result of an unstable or unsafe environment, domestic violence or even sexual, physical or verbal abuse. Statistics tell that if some of one’s family members have suffered depression, the greater the chance that one will be suffer from depression too.
Francis Mark Mondimore (2002): Adolescent Depression. Johns Hopkins University Press
Grecelyn Guyol (2006): Healing Depression and Bipolar Disorder without Drugs: Walker Books
Barlow (1991): Chronic Anxiety Disorder and Mixed Anxiety. Guilford press Publishers.
J. P Watson (1998): Traumatic Events and Mental Health. Cambridge University Press Publishers.
Robert L. Hendren (1999): Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Amer
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