Adolescence is the age whereby a child transitions to adulthood and noticeable physical, emotional and biological changes occur. It usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 19 years. Adolescent depression comes in when a mental disorder occurs, and there are psychological changes, and the victim starts to have spontaneous moments of sadness. The adolescents become introverted, and their behavior causes functional, physical and emotional problems since they rarely talk to anyone. Consequently, this is evidenced in the manner that they respond to people or in their academic performance which starts to decline (Jarvis, 2015).
The symptoms that they depict are usually variant. They can be either behavioral or emotional changes. To start with the emotional side, they begin to feel hopeless, irritated and easily annoyed. Additionally, they get feelings of frustration when they are engaged in activities that they are not interested in. On top of this, they engage in unnecessary conflict with relatives and friends (Wolpert, 2005). They also tend to suffer low self-esteem and feel worthless at this point in their lives. They also feel rejected and are therefore in need of excessive attention and reassurance. Moreover, they have trouble making decisions and mostly make hasty decisions that lead to them committing acts like suicide. Others go to the extent of drug abuse and committing other immoral activities.
Focusing on the behavioral changes, there are noticeable instances where the adolescents get easily tired and either sleep too much or experience moments of insomnia. Additionally, they experience agitation and cannot settle in one place for long periods of time (Wolpert, 2005). Often, they complain of body aches and headaches which cannot be clearly explained. All in all, the most common of all the effects is social isolation whereby they do not interact with people; they feel neglected, make angry outbursts and absence from school. On the extreme, they practice self-harm such as burning, piercing and getting excessive body tattoos.
There are primary, secondary and tertiary methods that can be integrated when dealing with depression. Primary methods come from within oneself. The use of primary methods enables the adolescents to overcome depression by deciding to do so from deep within themselves. Jarvis (2015) asserts that when adolescents recognize that they are feeling depressed and decide to take the right steps to get out of it, they are highly likely to be able to overcome it. Incidentally, they can then talk to their fellow teens about it to be able to manage the challenging feelings that they have.
However, if they have had the depression for a long time, medical attention, which is a secondary method, comes in. This involves going to a health professional who administers the medication required to deal with the problem. A well trained mental health professional will help to curb the situation (Adolescent Depression, 2010). This is an important step to take because the situation could get worse if it goes untreated which is the point where many teenagers tend to engage in suicidal activities.
If the depression gets worse after visits to a mental health professional, that is when tertiary help is required, and at this stage, the teenager needs to stay close to someone because they could react and cause harm to themselves or damage property (Wolpert, 2005). They therefore, need close monitoring and should visit a psychologist regularly to talk and be counseled on how to deal with the situation and come out of their shell.
The Patients Protection and Care (2010), provides various community and state resources that can be used to deal with teen depression. These include groups such as; Active Minds, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, American Association of Sociology, Adolescent Self-Injury Foundation, among others. Active Minds is an organization that is concerned with changing the voice of a client. They develop a forum that advocates for mental health awareness and education. They offer sessions of psychological training on mental health issues and help the patients to come back to the society. They also encourage them to seek help from them anytime. Second, the Adolescent Self-Injury Foundation is a forum that is dedicated to helping the teens and their families deal with mental illness caused by depression. They help the teens to avoid injuring themselves and embrace the right behavior to respond to emotional pains that they might be suffering. The families are also advised on how to respond to these victims and the extent to which they should tolerate them.
There are also nursing interventions that can be used to detect if an adolescent is too depressed. The main one is cognitive-behavioral therapy in primary care whereby a patient is put under behavioral healthcare monitoring. According to Jarvis (2015), this type of care aids in dealing with teen depression when the condition has escalated to a point whereby the family cannot define the proper resources to consult
It is therefore clear that adolescence depression is common to teenagers across the globe. Parents should, therefore, watch their teenagers keenly and find immediate assistance when they depict signs of depression. This is to prevent the depression from escalating. Once the teenagers are diagnosed with depression, proper care, and monitoring is important. Finally, parents should ensure that their children are active and not isolated to reduce the probability of being depressed and to reduce the effects of depression.
Adolescent Depression. (2010). Health line. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from https://www.healthline.com/health/adolescent-depression#Overview1
Jarvis, C. (2015). Physical Examination and Health Assessment. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Protection, P., & Act, A. C. (2010). Patient protection and affordable care act. Public law, 111(148), 1.
Wolpert, C. (2005). Surgeon General launches new public health campaign. Journal of The American Academy of Physician Assistants, 18(1), 20-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01720610-200501000-00003
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