Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and Depression occur in both genders , but by the teenage years girls are much more at the risk than boys. Before puberty , the prevalence of mood disorders is about the same in boys and girls , but by mid- adolescence girls are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with mood disorders than of boys.
Here the question arises why girls are more prone for mood disorders than boys. Answer comes out from brain scans that there are difference in the way girls and boys process emotional stimuli. Girls mature in terms of their emotional recognition faster than boys and that sensitivity could make them more prone to depression and anxiety.
In adolescent depression , the behaviour that people notice first is withdrawal of the teen from daily routine work. There might be other changes in her mood including sadness and irritability which are appetite, energy level, sleep patterns, academic performance. If these types of symptoms start appearing be attentive about the possibility of depression in your child.
This is especially important because as the family members and the other people around a teenager notices her lack of interest in most things or what we call anhedonia , she has gone through a lot of things due to that depression.
Depression is an internalizing disorder i.e. one that disturbs a patients emotional life rather than externalizing one , which manifests in the form of disruptive or problematic behaviour. As such it takes a while not only for others to recognise it but often for the patient herself to realise that her thinking and emotional responses are disturbed.
There are two types of depression which are as follows :-
1)Major Depressive Disorder-
It is the most familiar form of depression .The group of symptoms that define depression occur in may be severe episodes that tend to last from seven to nine months.
2)Dysthymic Disorder –
In this type of depression symptoms are milder ,but they last longer , measured in years.So far in current situation effect of this depression is less debilitating , but it gives more damage in long term as it obstructs normal development of the child in long terms.
Symptoms of Anxiety –
Anxiety is a normal adaptive system that alarms us about the forthcoming danger ,but it becomes a problem when it gets out of stable proportion and disturbs normal functioning ability of a person. An over anxious teen becomes disturb from her normal life routine because she doesn’t get proper reassurance. The longer a child lives with that anxiety it becomes more harder to treat it as she developed unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage it.
Why early intervention is critical –
Early intervention of your child depression is not only important just because of her suffering but it is necessary as this depression comes with add-on effects that may cause lifelong issues. This depression comes with low energy and poor concentration that likely to have a visible effect on social and academic functioning of the teen. These two side-effects concure social and academic progress of the child.
It is easy to see the effects of poor academic functioning falling behind in school undermines a child’s confidence and self image and can disturb the future of child if it continues for long time. Social learning is just as critical as academic learning in childhood and in adolescence too. This is a time when a girl would normally be learning such things as how to be a daughter ,sister , friend ; with either depression or anxiety , she may miss or fall behind on these critical kinds of learning. Due to such type of situation she may find herself lacking behind of her peers.
Other Disorders –
Anxiety is more likely to occur without depression than depression without anxiety. If you are not feeling good about yourself or confident that much or feel insecure or feel unsafe , anxiety may find fertile ground.
Two serious problems that comes in picture because of depression and anxiety are suicidal thinking and substance abuse. Most of the teens who commit suicide have been suffering from a psychiatrist illness specially those who hide their problems from family and friends. That’s why it is important to be alert towards the sign and symptoms of these disorders in your teenager child. Two more add-on problems associated with Teenage girls are eating disorders and self injury or cutting. So parents please be vigilant towards your teenage kids habits and behaviour.
Treatment for Anxiety and Depression –
A combination of psychotherapy and medication usually works better than either alone. Early involvement of health care professionals can shorten the period of illness and increase the enthusiasm of teenagers towards life to stay happy and make them more ready to learn lessons of life gracefully.
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