Adolescent Depression in Girls and Boys

Introduction

Adolescent depression is a mental health problem that causes a recurrent lack of interest in activities and sadness. In most cases, it affects how the teenager behaves and feels, and causes physical, functional, and emotional problems that affect the girl or boy’s development. Although depression occurs at any time, the experience of symptoms differs from boys to girls. Assessing depression in adolescents is difficult since other factors increase their risk outcomes and undesirable behaviors in most adolescents (Lu 182). Consequently, the level and effect of depression vary depending on the locality and the environment. For instance, disadvantaged groups such as adolescents from low-income families and minority groups are highly affected by depression compared to other persons. Furthermore, studies suggest that depression is more prevalent in adolescents whose families or parents are victims of depression. This paper highlights the impacts of depression on adolescents’ development, including emotional, behavioral, and cognitive performances.

Emotional Disorders

Emotion disability among adolescents, especially between 15-19 years, is one of the impacts of depression. Emotional disorders commonly occur during the adolescent stage, with many experiencing frustration, excessive irritability, and anger. The symptoms of such conditions may overlap with unexpected mood changes and emotional outbursts (Lu, 186). Further, this may result in symptoms such as nausea, headache, and stomach ache. Globally, emotional disorders affect the child in diverse areas such as school work and school attendance leading lack of proper education.

Childhood Behavioral Disorders

Depression causes childhood behavioral disorders which affect adolescents’ development. The behavioral disorders are characterized by excessive activity and difficulty paying attention, known as hyperactivity disorder (Ogundele, 9). At the same time, most adolescents act without considering the consequences of their actions, resulting in harmful and dangerous effects such as early and unplanned pregnancies, resulting in parenting at an early age. Moreover, depression can lead to another disorder known as conduct disorder which may result in criminal behaviors of the parties leading to adolescents being imprisoned. These behavioral concerns may result in cumulative self-implications during their development, altering their perceptions of life throughout their lifespan.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders also emerge in the adolescent stage as a result of depression. In most cases, the disease affects more females than males (Ogundele, 9). Eating disorders are medical conditions such as anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa, which in most cases are characterized by harmful eating behaviors such as binge eating (Ogundele, 9). Such diseases are detrimental to health and coexist a lot with depression. Depressed teens showcase altered eating patterns which in turn bear fundamental implications on holistic self-development. Some may opt to fast due to the last appetite, and others may overeat, with both cases affecting the energy demands within the body and hamper normal growth among the victims. Potentially, limiting calories or demanding too much may cause detrimental impacts on the teen’s development, including anxiety and abuse of substances in various forms.

Self-Harm

Depression causes self-harm in adolescents resulting in temporal or permanent disability. Globally, an estimated 95% of adolescent deaths have been reported to result from self-harm (Gillies et al. 733). With many adolescents living in low-income regions, self-harm deaths are more prevalent in the regions. The risk factors in such instances included harmful alcohol use, which affects their health, stigma against health-seeking, and barriers to accessing care. Therefore, the governments and interested parties need to relay information through digital media and avenues favorable to adolescents.

Depression results in adolescents’ indulgencies, such as drugs and substance abuse which affect their health. Cannabis, for instance, is widely abused among adolescents to perpetrate violence which increases the likelihood of low dedication attainment, crime involvement, and even death. Cases of interpersonal violence have also led to many deaths of adolescents (Lu, 188). Depression in adolescents has further led to the generation of non-medical costs, for instance, education being a critical determinant of adults’ learning. In cases where the adolescents’ performance is highly affected, they may suffer financial challenges in the future. In addition, depression may reduce young adolescents’ performances in classes and jeopardize their well-being of the children. Finally, adolescents are further affected by their susceptibility to infectious diseases.

In certain instances, depressed teens opt for suicidal thoughts and may physically harm themselves to avoid life challenges. Such risk behaviors may hamper the average growth and development of adolescents altering their cognitive, social, and emotional perceptions of life as they endure the various stages of development. Primarily, it is essential to understand that many changes take place in the body during the teenage years, which massively shape adulthood; therefore, care must be taken to avoid detrimental indulgence among the teens.

Conclusion

Depression affects how the teenager behaves and feels, and, in extreme cases, it can cause physical, functional, and emotional problems that affect the girl or boy’s development. Consequently, the level and effect of depression vary depending on the locality and the environment. Emotion disability among adolescents, especially between 15-19 years, is one of the impacts of depression causing childhood emotional and behavioral disorders which affect their development. Depression causes self-harm in adolescents resulting in temporal or permanent disability.

References

Lu, Wenhua. “Adolescent Depression: National Trends, Risk Factors, and Healthcare Disparities.” American Journal of Health Behavior. vol. 43, no.1, 2019, pp 181-194.

Ogundele, Michael O. “Behavioral and Emotional Disorders in Childhood: A Brief Overview For Paediatricians.” World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics vol.7 no.1, 2018, pp 9.

Gillies, Donna, et al. “Prevalence and characteristics of self-harm in adolescents: meta-analyses of community-based studies 1990–2015.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry vol. 57, no.10, 2018, pp 733-741.

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