Quashing the stigma associated with Teen Depression

“I don’t feel like going to college anymore mom; I want to stay back home”. “I don’t like parties”. I feel hopeless, I want to commit suicide.”  These may seem to be simple sentences or at times emotional outbursts during teenage but you never know. There may be some underlying causes that instigate*instigate*
➤ (v) provoke or stir up
➤ (v) serve as the inciting cause of
…by BeeDictionary.com
such thoughts in the minds of the teenagers. Depression can haunt youths for ages together. Sometimes, traits of depression and anxiety may be construed to be phases of teenage rebellion.* Depression has no face, *neither can it be fixed by waving a magical wand.

It is a tragic reality that depression and suicides have been on rise over the years. Teens who suffer from depression are at a greater risk of committing suicides in comparison to others. Depression is one of the most ubiquitous*ubiquitous*
➤ (s) being present everywhere at once
…by BeeDictionary.com
mental disorders across the globe. With due diligence*diligence*
➤ (n) conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task; giving the degree of care required in a given situation
➤ (n) persevering determination to perform a task
➤ (n) a diligent effort
…by BeeDictionary.com
and prompt attention, you can help your loved one to heal and break free from the vicious circle of depression. Such incidents are compelling educational sector to consider mental health of the students to be an educational issue.

Image source: cellacdisease.about.com
Image source: cellacdisease.about.com
Signs and Symptoms of Teen Depression:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Sleep disorders (too much sleep or too little sleep)
  3. Memory loss
  4. Concentration issues
  5. Extreme weight loss or gain
  6. Withdrawal from friends and society
  7. A drop in academic grades’
  8. Irresponsible and irritable behavior
  9. Eating disorders (too much or too little eating)
  10. Extreme pains in the body
  11. Feeling of being worthless, anxiety and sadness
  12. Use of Drugs and alcohol
  13. Suicidal traits

Warning signs of suicides among the teenagers:

It is estimated that around 500000 teens attempt suicide every year in the United States wherein almost 5000 succeed in their attempt. Therefore, it is crucial for the family members to be aware of a few warning signs:

  • If your teenager often threatens to kill himself/herself.
  • If your teenager is considering the drafting of a Will or is penning goodbye letters for friends and loved ones.
  • If your child gets addicted to drugs and alcohol.
  • If he/she considers oneself hopeless.

 Precautions to be taken by parents:

It can be extremely challenging for parents as this phase can be very stressful.

  • Ensure that you don’t punish your teenager for any wrongs. Instead try to incorporate positive attitude in them.
  • Ensure that you listen to all the concerns of your teenager. Assure your child that you are always supporting him/her in all the situations.
  • Don’t be overprotective about your teen. Give them the freedom that he/she needs.
  • Keep a friendly approach and communicate openly with your teens.

The WHO (World Health Organization) reports suggest that Suicides are one of the top causes of adolescent deaths on a global scenario and depression bags “Number Uno” position for being the main cause of illness and disability. An estimated 30% of the worldwide suicides occur in India and China. In recent times, it has been noted that school health programs in India have considered the incorporation of mental health of the students into their programs. In China, The Education Ministry has made it mandatory to have psychological counselling rooms in schools while South Korean government has focused on creating an App that detects suicide related words to alert the parents about their child’s mental health. The US government is considering the introduction of Mental Health in Schools Act to help combat depression and related disorders among adolescents and teenagers. The scenarios are not different in UK and Australia too.

The best thing that a person with a mental illness can do is to speak up. You can help yourself by speaking about your emotional issues. In a way this will aid in eliminating the stigma*stigma*
➤ (n) the apical end of the style where deposited pollen enters the pistil
➤ (n) a symbol of disgrace or infamy
➤ (n) an external tracheal aperture in a terrestrial arthropod
➤ (n) a skin lesion that is a diagnostic sign of some disease
…by BeeDictionary.com
associated with the illness.