Depression is considered one of the most serious diseases of the 21st century. There are many reasons for its development. First of all, it is a high level of stress, a fast pace of life and high demands. Depression affects young and old. It is surrounded by a large number of myths and delusions, the most dangerous of which is the refusal to consider mental disorder as a disease and firm belief that depression passes exclusively from physical labor or emotional overstrain. In severe forms, a neglected mental disorder can lead to sad consequences, even to the voluntary retirement from life. Therefore, depressive disorders are most dangerous for the mental development of adolescents.
Depression is one of the most serious diseases of the 21st century.
In many countries of the world, depression is considered a disease at the official level, up to the provision of a disability group. In Russia, attitudes towards it are gradually changing, although the older generation still does not consider it a serious reason for going to a doctor. Many people deny the existence of such a serious mental disorder, considering it a manifestation of human weakness, laziness, inaction and unwillingness to work on yourself.
Despite the fact that depression is now talked about and written a lot, for some people it is still a “whim”, which is the result of promiscuity, inability to keep yourself in hand and unwillingness to work. Many misconceptions about mental disorders, still strong in Russian society, are associated with stories of punitive psychiatry. A few decades ago, it was not accepted to contact a psychotherapist, because registration in a psycho-neurological dispensary negatively affected social relations and a person’s career.
Today, for the treatment of mental disorders – depressive episodes, panic attacks or phobias, it is not necessary to get registered in a psycho-neurological dispensary. Simply contact the therapist who will refer the person to a neurologist or psychotherapist. Some people are already able to evaluate the positive effects of antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy. Early treatment is most important for boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18, since adolescents are particularly psychologically unstable.
Causes of Depression in Adolescents
The transitional age is one of the most difficult stages in human development. It is accompanied by serious changes in all body systems – the disproportionate development of the internal organs, changes in the body, hormonal changes. Adolescents often think about their place in the world, the problem of gaining authority among classmates, awakening interest from the opposite sex and familiarizing with the world of adults.
The rapid growth and active changes relate to relationships with others, including with parents. Criticism, authoritarian education, lack of acceptance have a negative impact on the psyche. Emotional distress increases as a result of bullying episodes, lack of friends and lack of understanding of adults. The instability of the psyche significantly increases the risk of depressive episodes.
For many years, depressive disorders have been considered characteristic of adults. But today they are essentially “younger” and are already observed in children 7–8 years old. The reasons for the development of anxiety and depressive disorders are the same as for adults – lack of friends, conflicts with classmates or teachers, the death of a loved one, the divorce of parents or the emergence of new partners. A depressed teenager loses interest in studying and in those cases that used to bring joy, refuses to attend school, loses his appetite.
The main signs of a depressive disorder are constant sadness, anxiety, and emotional instability. It is difficult for a teenager to concentrate on the fulfillment of educational tasks, to contact peers or adults. Depressive episodes in boys and girls of transitional age should not be ignored, therefore, it is necessary to consult a psychotherapist in time and begin treatment of depression.
Treatment of depression in adolescents
Boys and girls suffer from depressive disorders in different ways. For example, girls are more sensitive to lack of attention from the opposite sex. Their success in life is directly related to gender attitudes. Society focuses girls on the search for a life partner and the creation of a family. Against the background of more successful contemporaries, girls who have not started a serious relationship with young men may feel abandoned and lonely. Also, girls are more acutely experiencing episodes of harassment, including due to insufficient level of physical development. However, young men who are in a state of depression are more prone to the use of psychoactive substances – alcohol or drugs.
Attentive adults will notice changes in the behavior of a teenager. First of all, they need to be supported, and in no case should his emotional state be considered “stupidity” or “whim”. You should not criticize a teenager and give examples of people who were in difficult life circumstances. This common method of “treating” depression actually devalues the problems of a teenager and further alienates him from significant adults. Therefore, in a conversation with him, it is necessary to show a sense of tact and demonstrate confidence in him.
The next step in successful treatment should be psychotherapy. AT teenage psychotherapy applies both a group and an individual approach, allowing girls and boys to adjust behavioral patterns and work out injuries. In some cases, a specialist may prescribe a medical treatment for depression. Taking medication requires careful monitoring by the parents and the teenager himself. And in the most difficult situations, a teenager with a depressive disorder is hospitalized.
A teenager experiencing a difficult period in life needs the support of significant adults – parents and other relatives. Their task is to closely monitor the course of treatment, monitor the implementation of the recommendation of a specialist, study information about mental disorder. At the time of treatment, the adolescent must maintain a healthy lifestyle and completely abandon bad habits. The most important thing is the achievement of physical and mental health. The earlier adults notice negative changes in the behavior of their son or daughter and turn to a specialist, the shorter the treatment time will be and the more effective it will be.