Teenage Depression and Suicide

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“A dark brooding cloud was slowly casting a shadow across my mind.” “I felt weighed down, oppressed by the burden of having to face a new day.” “A crushing sense of hopelessness that was unlike anything I had ever experienced before” “It was as if something else had seized control of my mind.” “The darkness was spreading inside me like a cancer.” — These descriptions are how Cait Irwin, who suffered from depression as a teenager, described it. Teenage depression is a common but serious illness that can ultimately send some on a downward spiral towards suicide that can be averted if recognized and given the proper treatment. Countless teenagers experience some type of depression in their lifetime, but what exactly is depression and just…show more content…
Two main types of psychotherapies—cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT)—are effective in treating depression. The goal of CBT is to change habitual patterns of thinking and acting that may be contributing to a person’s problems. In IPT, a person learns to help identify the problem that triggered a bout of depression, then learns the necessary social and communication skills to resolve that problem successfully. While both medication and psychotherapy are proved to help depression, a combination of the two appears to be the best method. In a recent study of 439 depressed adolescents, 71% improved by the combination treatment of medication and psychotherapy, better than the 61% who responded to medication alone and 43% for psychotherapy alone. (Irwin, Evans, and Wasmer 80). Somehow or other, treatment for depression seems to work at least partly by correcting imbalances in brain chemicals. However, many people with a depressive disorder never seek treatment even though the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment (“National Institute of Mental Health”). According to the NDSUH, only 34.7% of teens who had major depression this past year received treatment. This means nearly 2/3 of the teens who had major depression did not receive any treatment (“Major Depressive Episode and Treatment Among Adolescents: 2009”). It is crucial that teens suffering from depression receive treatment before they
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