Today, teenagers encounter several challenging issues; depression is one of them. This disorder affects young people’s mental state significantly and may interfere with their daily activities, reducing the quality of their lives, and decreasing their academic performance. This paper discusses depression in adolescents, its symptoms, and the factors that cause it. In addition, the report presents possible assessment strategies and support options that can be used.
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Depression in Adolescents
Depression is one of the most common challenges adolescents face today. Levy (2019) reports that it is vital to screen teenagers for mental health disorders because many individuals from this age group report experiencing related symptoms.
Depression in adolescents is not medically different from adult depression but is caused by developmental and social challenges young people encounter. The external factors associated with a major depressive disorder include peer pressure and stress related to school life and family life (Krans, 2016). This problem is significant because it may lead to suicidal ideation and anxiety, as well as behavioral and eating disorders (Levy, 2019). In addition, depression in adolescents may affect their relationships with their families and peers and aggravate their academic performance.
To screen for depression in teenagers effectively, medical professionals should strive to establish trust-based relationships with their patients and be open to accepting their thoughts and concerns. The criteria for depression and other mental health disorders are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). To be diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, an individual should show several related symptoms. They include a depressed mood for the majority of the day, a feeling of excessive guilt, a decreased interest in most or all activities, insomnia, recurrent thoughts of death, and fatigue (Krans, 2016).
Assessment questions may regard a teenager’s mood, relationships with peers and family members, and school life. Additional questions may address potential exposure to traumatic events, such as sexual abuse or loss of a parent. It may be feasible to ask the patient’s parents about changes in their child’s behaviors, possible psychomotor retardation, and other symptoms of a disorder they may notice.
It is vital for a medical professional to consider the ethical issues too. They should discuss the limits of confidentiality with patients and parents at the outset of professional relationships (American Psychological Association, 2017). If a teenager prohibits the disclosure of personal information, a medical professional can only do it if mandated by law for a valid purpose. Thus, no information should be shared with a parent or guardian unless the patient authorizes it.
The possible support options for adolescents having depression include acknowledging their feelings, listening to their concerns, being non-judgmental, and involving teenagers in treatment choices. It is crucial to reduce the effects of societal and family factors, as well as find strategies to eliminate peer pressure. For instance, if possible, a medical professional may invite the patient’s parent on a therapy session to discuss the problems leading to their child’s poor mental state. In some cases, changing school can be suggested to reduce the current peers’ impact.
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The report shows that a major depressive disorder can lead to poor mental health outcomes in adolescents. It is vital to eliminate the impact of external factors on teenagers’ well-being by reducing peer pressure and stress related to school life, as well as improving family relationships. Medical professionals should establish trust-based relationships with their adolescent clients, preserving their confidentiality, and acknowledging their feelings and thoughts.
American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from www.apa.org/ethics/code/
Krans, B. (2016). Adolescent depression. Web.
Levy, S. (2019). Overview of psychosocial problems in adolescents. Web.