Depression is the most fashionable diagnosis, which is often abused by ordinary citizens, attributing to themselves this condition in a bad mood and exhaustion. However, more than once we touched on this topic and thoroughly described the “clinical character” of the symptoms of this disorder.
We have considered aspects of the treatment of depression with the help of drugs, types of depressive states, as well as somatized depression. Similar topics were also touched upon, such as suicidal behavior, alcoholism and drug addiction.
But all this concerned, basically, the already existing “adulthood”, however, we did not pay much attention to the depressions in adolescence, and today we will try to correct this serious shortcoming.
Introduction or the crux of the problems
Depression in adolescence, unfortunately, is not uncommon, but extremely unpleasant. A teenager, being in a state of “hanging” identity, looking again for himself and rethinking his relationship with society is in constant tension, which leads to the fact that depressive symptoms can manifest not just brighter, but also be explosive at the same time depression in adolescents may be latent – implicit – character.
So let’s get down to this issue.
At present, adolescent depression is a little-studied phenomenon, extremely complex in its structure and dynamics, and moreover, dangerous. Depression in adolescents can have an uncountable number of causes and unpleasant consequences.
And, unfortunately, it is not always possible to adequately diagnose and recognize depressive states in adolescents. Even professionals often find themselves in an impasse, when there are no objective criteria for making a diagnosis, but the general socio-psychological well-being of a teenager is rapidly deteriorating.
According to Campbell R., adolescent depression is different in its symptoms from the classic “adult” depression, although the neurohumoral mechanisms underlying it are identical. The distortion of the emotional state, the decline of positive emotional activity is not always detected in the adolescent’s direct behavior, he finds a way out through the Id (unconscious) path, manifested in nightmares, the appearance of gloomy fantasies and sometimes in the form of various neuroses, like incipient obsessions.
Depressed thoughts and experiences can be reflected in short but emotional conversations, and emotionally saturated phrases. Teenagers are great conspirators, they skillfully disguise depression, sometimes so well that at some point it becomes the “norm of life” for them.
This is precisely the reason for the introduction of a new term: “depression with a smile”, which means skillful disguise as the well-being (surrounded by people) of extreme despair, a sense of abandonment and loneliness, an experience of hopelessness.
It is important to note that depressed adolescents are extremely susceptible to the influence of the delinquent, criminogenic and marginal groups, which often offer support, love and unconditional acceptance of the adolescent “as is”, which he cannot find in his social group or family. Thus, unrecognized depression can cause the adolescent’s delicacy, which will be discussed in a separate article.
In a state of chronic or acute depression, a teenager is more likely to come to the use of alcohol, drugs, or aggressive and illegal behavior, despite the outward satisfactory condition of his living conditions (the question of why children from highly wealthy families step on the path of deviation).
The classic tetrad of adult depression is despondency, a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and despair. They include somatic symptoms, such as a violation of sleep and nutrition, a state of lack of energy and loss of strength, as well as a drop in self-esteem and level of aspirations. However, Campbell, along with these symptoms, highlights the special symptoms of manifestations of adolescent depression:
- dreams come true
- drop in performance
- deterioration of attention.
Consider each of the particular symptoms separately in the following article.