Today, children and teenagers face influences and pressures that could significantly affect their mental health. Although parents may frequently perceive their children as moody or going through a growth stage, strange behaviour could be ascribed to a mental health issue. Most mental health practitioners confirm that anxiety and depression are major health issues affecting the growing number of teenagers (Anniko et al., 2019). Adolescents often explain Irritability and mood swings and the changes that children and teenagers go through as they mature up. Unfortunately, these changes are also common signs of anxiety and depression that parents ignore or underestimate when they happen to their children (Anniko et al., 2019). In most cases, parents don’t understand what is happening with their children when such changes occur and usually tell their teens to snap out of such behaviors. However, depending on the severity of the condition, it could be impossible for the teens to stop the signs suddenly.
Many psychological and behavioral factors increase the risk of triggering teen depression. For example, teenagers may have psychological issues such as obesity, long-term bullying, peer problems, and academic challenges that adversely affect their self-esteem (Price et al., 2016). Also, issues like witnessing or being a victim of physical violence or sexual abuse may lead to depression among teenagers. The most common behavioral factors that may increase the risk of children being depressed include changes in appetite — poor appetite and weight loss, or weight gain and increased cravings for food (Anniko et al., 2019). Also, the use of drugs, agitation, or restlessness— for example, a teenager’s inability to sit still may contribute to depression.
Most studies show that depression among teens is significantly affecting today’s society. It is the leading global contributor world’s problem of diseases. The number of teenagers who commit suicide due to depression has increased every year after the decline in the 1990s (Price et al., 2016). Although researchers cannot explain this trend, most experts argue that teenagers today face a lot of pressure at home or school. The experts also say that the teens worry so much about the financial difficulties in their families and use more drugs and alcohol. Depression may develop into a severe health condition in the community, especially when it is recurrent and severe among teenagers (Price et al., 2016). It can cause the affected teen to suffer greatly and perform poorly at school and in the family. Sadly, if it is not managed in its early stages, it can also lead to suicide. Generally, depression is a kind of stress that affects teens’ academic performance and socializing with others. As a result, fear of its consequences prevents most teenagers from pursuing a dream outside societal norms and expectations.
Clinical depression isn’t a health issue that can get resolved independently. It requires mental health professionals, usually psychiatrists, to assess the patients thoroughly. Such checks would be carried out to help choose a therapeutic approach for delivering the best clinical outcomes. According to the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore, the report shows that depression is the most common psychological issue among teenagers (Anniko et al., 2019). Therefore, psychiatrists and healthcare providers may offer psychological treatment to the affected teens depending on the pattern of the depressive episodes or severity of the condition. Some of these psychological treatments programs may include interpersonal psychotherapy or antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), behavioral activation, and cognitive behavioral therapy (Anniko et al., 2019). Due to the increasing cases of depression amongst young people, various resources have also been set up to treat mental disorders relating to depression. An example of such resources is the Center for Young Women’s Health and Young Men’s Health. This website offers guidelines on teens’ emotional health, including testing eating disorders, bullying, and anxiety.
Anniko, M. K., Boersma, K., & Tillfors, M. (2019). Sources of stress and worry in the development of stress-related mental health problems: A longitudinal investigation from early-to mid-adolescence. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 32(2), 155-167.
Price, M., Hides, L., Cockshaw, W., Staneva, A. A., & Stoyanov, S. R. (2016). Young love: Romantic concerns and associated mental health issues among adolescent help-seekers. Behavioral Sciences, 6(2), 9.