Depression In Teens: Understanding And Addressing The Problem

Posted on February 21, 2011 in Health & Life

By Pallavi Malhotra:

Teenage is one of the best faces of life, not to say the toughest as well. Some of the many aspects of this phase, like arguments with parents, peer pressure, grades, and boyfriend/girlfriend issues, lead to stress, which often times culminate into depression amongst teenagers.

When a perfectly normal teen that remains in a pleasant mood and works decently hard to get average to good grades starts failing a class, being in an irritable mood most of the times, and talking back to parents, he/she is suspected of having “an attitude problem”. The problem is that even the person, let alone parents, does not realize that he/she might be depressed.

There are a lot of reasons as to why this happens. For instance, Dr Rachna K Singh, Holistic medicine & lifestyle management expert at Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, says, “With both parents working, youngsters are often left to themselves, without being supervised for long hours. Thus, they look for emotional support in their peers, who are also at a tender stage in life” reports the TOI. Doctors insist that parents must spend quality time with their children on regular basis.

Teenagers often fall in an out of relationships. ‘Falling in’ part is fine, however, ‘falling out of relationships’  part causes stress and tension. “Being in a relation has become a trend among teenagers due to peer pressure. However, we keep getting cases on a regular basis where the two teenagers end their relation for want of physical intimacy. Hormonal changes cause this,” said Dr Sheryl John Sethilnathan, a psychiatrist with Columbia Asia, Gurgaon.

Whatever the cause maybe, the best way out of depression is simple: talking! A depressed teen may just want to be alone, not talk to anyone and be anti-social. The exact opposite of these things is what one should really be doing. Talking to parents or a counselor is the best thing in such a situation, though talking to anyone else, like maybe a close friend, will be helpful too.

Also, it is never a harm to see a doctor. Indian mind-set is such that meeting a psychiatrist is related with being mentally instable. This is not so. Sometimes, people need professional help and even medication to overcome their depression. However, it should be understood that depression is a temporary problem which can be cured if tended to, or can also be deadly if overlooked.

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