Depression in Adolescents versus Adults Depression is a very large issue in the world, but more importantly, America. According to Webster’s Dictionary, depression is a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep. Mainly depression affects adults and adolescents, but does affect people of all ages. Over 20% of all Americans will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.
Depression, though it is severe, can be treated n various ways if action is taken within adequate time, like with any other disease. The manifestations of depression in adolescents differ from the manifestations of depression in adults for multiple reasons, but mainly due to age and experiences faced in their lifetime. Age, gender, childhood experiences, participation in extracurricular activities, and heredity are all varying factors for the causes of depression in both age groups. Depression differs in adolescents and adults for reasons that are about to be displayed.
Depression is a growing problem in America. According to ecent studies by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, over 6. 7 percent of North America’s population has, or had depression or symptoms of depression. Approximately one in eight adolescents experience depression of different severities. Depression is an issue that starts within a childhood; however it can also later occur as well. According to recent studies, the median age at which depression occurs is at the age of 32 (NIMH. Problems that may occur in a person’s childhood may affect them for the rest of their lives in terms of depression. According to “Depression: the NICE Guidelines to Treatment,” Depression is more prevalent in women than men because women tend to carry out the effects emotionally much longer. They struggle to accept their disease. Like most disorders however, acceptance is the first step to growing on a healthy path to handling depression. Depression is a growing problem in America that can be reduced if proper action is taken.
Adolescent depression is not medically different from adult depression, however depression’s symptoms manifest differently in adolescents. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3. 3% of 13 to 18 year olds had or have xperienced a seriously debilitating depressive disorder or condition. Adolescents are more susceptible to disorders such as depression due to the overwhelming stress of simply growing up and evolving as a human being. Adolescents, especially females, often experience depression at its most severe state.
If the gene for depression is located in the x chromosome and the trait is dominant, females, who have two x chromosomes, will be more often affected than males, who have only one x chromosome (Nazroo) As a result of this, being born a female dramatically increases the risk of depression due to the extra hromosome harboring the depressive gene. After the obvious factors are considered when determining the diagnosis for the adolescent, such as gender, age, background information, and family history, psychiatrists and mental health professionals begin to focus on the underlying issues that may be found in an adolescents life.
At this point, various other things are considered before applying the title of the depression to the adolescent male or female. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, some of the factors that are considered when deriving the diagnosis are a decrease in the hild’s appetite, a loss of interest in activities that were once found pleasurable, appearing tearful, sad, or irritable, withdrawal from social situations and or extracurricular activities, and talk of self-harm or suicide.
Feelings of loneliness or irritability must occur for at least six months to a year before being considered for the diagnosis of depression. The majority of adolescent depression emerges from an adolescent’s childhood and issues they may have or had in this time period. Finally, depression is hereditary; it can be acquired from an adolescent’s mother or father or even farther down family lines. Recognizing depression in adolescents is very important for the fact of being able to slow the disorder down before it overwhelms the child and causes future issues.
Depression in adolescents often carries branches of other disorders along with it, such as anxiety, eating disorders, and increased risk of substance abuse. Adolescent depression is a very severe issue that can recur or continue into adulthood if left untreated or unrecognized. Depression does not focus solely on a specific age group. Like adolescents, adults or people over the age of 18, experience depression at the same severity or even worse. However the circumstances at which depression occurs are much different in an adult’s life when compared to an adolescent’s.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is more common among women than men due to hormonal, psychosocial, and biological factors. Scientists believe that these factors may be linked to the increased risk of depression in women. Research has shown that hormones that are carried by women directly affect the part of the brain that controls the person’s mood or emotions. An example of this would be postpartum depression after giving birth due to the caring of the ewborn and then suddenly releasing the child that they have carried for after nine months.
Also, something that adult women experience that adolescent girls do not is menopause. The cyclical rise and fall of estrogen is proven to be linked with a woman’s brain chemistry, which could be the reason why depression is linked to menopause. Lastly, adult women carry the burden of household responsibilities, caring and nurturing of children, and relationships that are unstable. These factors can all weigh heavily on a woman, and lead to depression if dwelled on for large amounts of time. Like women, men also experience depression in all of its forms.
Women tend to dwell on their feelings of sadness or irritability longer than men do. Studies have shown that men instead, experience feelings of tiredness, loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, and insomnia (Kasch. ) According to the NICE Guidelines to treatment, men are more prone to turning to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed. When males turn to these negative coping skills, it often results in abuse, loss of relationships, or even jail time. Men avoid the issue of depression more than women do and tend to behave ecklessly or throw themselves into their work as a distraction.
Lastly, although more women attempt suicide, more men die by suicide in the United States. This is due to their lack of acceptance of the disorder and failure to seek help; they simply lose all hope and resort to a permanent solution to a temporary issue. Depression, as one can see is more common in adolescents, yet more severe in adults. Alysha Speer once said, “You never really know what’s coming. A small wave, or maybe a big one. All you can really do is hope that when it comes, you can surf over it, instead of drown in its monstrosity. This quote is very relevant when it comes to coping with depression.
Coping according to dictionary. com is defined as facing and dealing with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties, especially successfully or in a calm or adequate manner. Coping with depression is essential to the recovery process. Everyone who experiences this severe mental disorder needs to find some form of coping skill. Unfortunately, not all coping skills are healthy and often involve drugs or alcohol. On the other hand, exercise is often used in both age groups to cope with depression by stimulating the senses and distracting the mind rom what may be going around them.
When exercising, adrenaline is released or built up which help release the pressure of stress. When this is released, the stress reduces the weight which is applied to the brain and reduces the effects or even the severity of depression. Due to personal experiences, this is a healthy and effective way to reduce stress and ease depression. A common coping skill is the use of therapy. There are outpatient interpersonal therapy and inpatient interpersonal therapy available for those who require aid in resolving their mental illness.
Also for adults that have had onflicts with their divorce and or relationships in marriage that cause depression, there is marital therapy to help save the marriage or to help the individual recover from past experiences. Antidepressants are often one of the most commonly used coping skills in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Antidepressants and their effects differ among age groups, Adolescents may have a different reaction to an antidepressant than an adult does. For example, a medicine that helps a teenager, may increase suicidal thoughts in an adult or vice versa.
Determining the most ccurate antidepressant for the individual can be very tedious. The factors that influence what antidepressants are distributed to each individual with depression are age, gender, height, weight, and the severity of the depression. An example would be a one hundred and ten pound fifteen year old girl taking twenty milligrams of Fluoxetine compared to a two hundred pound thirty year old male that is taking eighty milligrams of Fluoxetine. The age and gender between the two have a lot to do with the dosage of the prescribed medications. Also similar to alcohol, weight affects the choice of antidepressants chosen.
The less the person weighs, the less blood they have and the more concentrated the medicine becomes in their system. Coping skills are a guessing game, finding one that works for one particular person may be different for another. It all depends on the situation like most things in life. It is no surprise that depression is an immense issue in today’s society when factoring in the negative aspects of daily life as an American citizen. Although depression is more common in adolescents and teenagers, it tends to be more severe in adults and people over the age of eighteen.
Some reasoning for this would be that the brain is not fully developed until the age of twenty-six so this could affect the thought process and chemical makeup of the brain that produces depression. Depression is not a preventable disorder, but it is curable. America in particular struggles with depression, in fact, depression is one of the leading causes of death in America due to the increased risk of other issues that occur with depression like heart failure (ADAA. ) As stated previously, depression is a disorder that can branch into many different things, some of which are life threatening and can result in death.
Depression is a treatable illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is an illness that can reduce a person’s life span from seven to eleven years. This should be a red flag to acquire help as quickly as possible and work on the path to recovery. Although depression often results in recurrent outbursts of sadness or relapse, if coping skills are used correctly, depression will be easier to manage for the individual. Depression, although it affects a large portion of Americans, is treatable and the number of those affected can be reduced if proper actions are taken.