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A Growing Problem Of Teenage Depression

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There are several issues in our society such as poverty, unemployment, and education. These are major issues that are talked about and have given importance since we are greatly affected by it. But how about teenage depression? How do you see teenage depression? Have you ever thought that the emergence of it in today’s youth can become a major issue in our country and in our world? Depression is not the just an emotion of sadness. It is a common and serious medical illness that is more than capable of killing. How are we suppose to meet expectations and help in making a better world if we, ourselves, are trapped in this state of incapability and battle where our own enemy is ourselves?

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Today, this disease not only affects a little but a dangerous number of teenagers in the world. This is why depression should not be seen and misunderstood as just feeling sad. All of us should start making a change and fight back depression immediately. Emergence of teenage depression is not just a coincidence. Some say that depression has only gone notable because of social media, since teenagers are in power to share, post, and comment what they feel about themselves. At a global level, over 300 million people are estimated to suffer from depression, equivalent to 4. 4% of the world’s population. It is true that people, not only teens, are more able to express themselves through the rise of the internet but that does not mean that the increase and change in statistics on depressed teenagers are caused by the ability of teens to voice that they have it.

We live in a fast-changing world. The things that we value today, may not be the same as tomorrow. Experts agree that teens experience more stress today than in previous generations. Present-day lifestyles such as lack of family support, more structured technology games and less exercise, less physical interaction, are factors that lead to teenage depression. Stress is one of the leading cause of depression, and the stress experienced by teenagers living in this generation is incomparable. Becoming an adult is indeed one of the most difficult times in life because it is when we face a lot of changes in our bodies, both physically and mentally. Now, teenagers not only have to face these changes. Now, they have to go through a phase of having too much expectations given to them by school, peers, and their parents. These pressures are the major causes of stress. Not being able to cope with it will most likely lead to depression. Teenage years or adolescence are the transitional phase in which teens face tough situations regarding themselves. Teenage years are when they start to build and define themselves. Inability to meet expectations is often what leads them to depression. Yes, teenage depression is on the rise. But is it just because some are just being overly emotional? No. Nobody chose to be depressed. Nobody can escape that easily from something they did not want to happen to them. People who are not suffering depression should be grateful that they do not have to go through this psychological trauma. We are all trying to be happy. That is why we strive for success and we live life to the fullest. We live, trying to define happiness. Nobody can choose what could make them sad. Yes, there are several ways to overcome depression, treatments and medication, but still the scars need time to heal, and worse is when sometimes, the stigma remains.

We should stop telling people suffering from depression to just “snap out of it” or “it’s just in your head”. This does not help them overcome the depression. Again, it is not easy. It is not as simple as that. Even if we try putting ourselves into what they are facing, imagine the pressure, struggles, the nightmare of having no desire to do anything or having no reason to live at all, and the extreme sadness and pain they are feeling, still, we cannot fully understand what it is to have depression. The best thing we can do is to listen without judgment; acknowledge depression as an important matter in today’s society. We should pay attention to depression because it is has a great impact on the overall health of a person and is a great risk for suicide. As of 2016, suicide remains the 2nd leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24 (Families for Depression Awareness). As said, depression is more than just the feeling of sadness, but a state of mind in which one feels bad and anxious and finds the whole life desperate; the reason why teenagers suffering from depression are at higher risk for suicidal thoughts. There are people who speak about depression and easily throw away the word “depressed” simply because they feel sad at the moment or sometimes even making fun of it as if it really is nothing but being overly emotional. But people should start taking it seriously. It should not be ignored nor be pushed aside. We never know what each one of us has gone through and we all have the right to be happy.

Most teens who are experiencing deep depression sees death as the only way to stop the pain they are going through. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after accidents and homicide and more than 90 percent of all teens who die by suicide reportedly suffered from major depression. According to the World Health Organization, Major Depressive Disorder or depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. This disorder carries a high burden of disease, resulting in significant costs to families, employers, and publicly funded health systems. Other than suicide, depression also leads to substance abuse or alcohol and drug addiction. It can also worsen pre-existing illnesses and vice-versa. In 2014, 11. 4 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 (2. 8 million adolescents) had a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. Youths aged 12 to 17 in 2014 who had a past year MDE were more likely than those without a past year MDE to have used any illicit drugs in the past year (33. 0 vs. 15. 2 percent). Depression is a brain disorder that can lead to much emotional anguish. Symptoms of depression such as lack of sleep or oversleeping, insomnia, and decreased appetite create changes and have a big effect into your body. It can also increase your risk for certain physical illnesses or conditions. Similarly, some illnesses can also trigger depression. If depression is merely being overly emotional, how come it can take a portion of our young population and can affect the economical growth of a country?

Yes, depression is a killer and we need to fight it back. Understanding the problem does not mean it has already been solved. You should help in the fight against depression because it saves lives. Having or not having depression, you must take action. We must take action now before it gets too late. Think of it, 1 out of 8 teens are affected by this disease and is increasing every passing year. Imagine, if millions of teenagers grow in depression and are not given solution, there is a big possibility that our world tomorrow will not only be a place of emotionally unstable adults but a place full of even more depressed teens. Parents who reportedly suffered from depression in their teenage years are more likely to have their kids suffering, too. Psychologist and writer Richard O’Connor, Ph. D. stated in one of his works that “There is a great deal of research documenting that children of depressed parents are at high risk for depression themselves, as well as for substance abuse and antisocial activities”. Because family is the foundation of any other relationships, it is a big factor on children’s mental health.

So, if we let teenagers left untreated, they are most likely to grow up and develop as depressed adults. We do not want this to continue on the next generations. The youth is the hope of our future. But our youths are suffering today. In the case happening now, what could possibly be our future? Hence, we all must take action in solving teenage depression because it is really happening and it is on the rise. Depression is an issue that should be taken seriously because it can lead to actual causes of death and disabilities. If you know someone who is suffering from depression, try helping them out. And if you are the one who is experiencing this, do not be afraid to seek for help. Do not let depression take over you. You are not alone. There are a lot more in this world than we can ever imagine and we need to realize that. What we need is action. It is not easy, but there is always a way. We can overcome it, for today and for tomorrow.

15 July 2020

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