Major Depressive Disorder is one of the major psychiatric disorder extremely common in children and adolescents. Just like Obsessive Compulsive disorder, symptoms of depression in teens can be seen from a very young age, and are often associated with certain people or events. ‘Anxiety’s meaning in Hindi is ‘चिंता’ . While teenagers are prone to various kinds of depressions due to bodily changes and different developments, symptoms of depression in teens often take the form of daily activities, and are difficult to comprehend. Read ahead to learn more about Major Depressive Disorder in teens.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder is one psychiatric disorder that often remains unrecognized and untreated, due to its symptoms being different from the adult variant of the disorder. The severity of symptoms shown by the teenager decides the course of treatment, ranging all the way from psychotherapy to medications and combination treatment. Although most children and adolescents recover from Major Depressive Disorder, symptoms continue to persist even in adulthood. Untreated Major Depressive Disorder may lead to problems like substance abuse, pure work, risk of suicidal behaviour, poor academic and poor social functioning during adulthood. Almost 8% of adolescents diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder end up committing suicide before turning into young adults.
Symptoms of Depression in Teens
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder in teens include impaired school performance, interpersonal difficulties in life, early parenthood, and increased risk of other mental health and substance use disorders. The key sign of MDD is a change in mood, including unusual sadness, and reduction in interest in activities enjoyed otherwise. Involuntary changes in weight, major shifts in sleep patterns and sluggishness are also some symptoms of MDD. A teenager with MDD might show more inappropriate guilt towards themselves, and be more harsh- they may feel guilty and feel things like “I am ugly” and “no one loves me.”
One of the first steps involved in the misdiagnosis of MDD is parents receiving these feeling of self-guilt as ‘oppositional behaviour’.
How to treat MDD (Depression)
A combination of Pharmacological and psychological therapies is considered best for the treatment of depression.
Symptoms of depression in teenagers are often treated using Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, which encourages children to go out and participate in activities that they might’ve lost interest in. In CBT, children are taught how their thoughts affect their behaviour.
Another treatment strategy often used is Interpersonal Therapy i.e. therapy in which the psychologist attempts to improve the relationship between the child and his peers, parents or other family members.
Medications which have proved to be effective to treat depression in teens include reuptake inhibitors or neurotransmitters (drugs like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) which help the chemical aspects of the brain to communicate with each other. These medications are immensely effective if properly managed.
Antidepressants can also be considered in treatment, although they carry with themselves the risk of encouraging suicide. This is a rather rare phenomenon, and has been recorded to only encourage ideas of suicide, and not actualization of these ideas.
Risk Factors Associated with Major Depressive Disorder
Children with negative temperament are more likely to develop MDD. Other risk factors include first-generational depression running in the family, and adverse childhood experiences. Another major disorder or disability aids the severity of Major Depressive Disorder in the teenager.
Diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder
Just like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder can be carried out by the profession by collecting verbal records both from the patient and those living close to him or her.
While Major Depressive Disorder, a carrier of चिंता i.e. Anxiety meaning in Hindi, is being diagnosed, the patient is more likely to be irritable or annoyed, and is more susceptible to developing a bad mood. The patient will show the following marked signs- weight loss or gain, sleeping excessively or too less, restlessness or lethargy, cloudy or indecisive thinking, and so on. The patient might also develop a preoccupation with death, plans of suicide or even attempt suicide. The disorder is highly likely to interfere with their day-to-day activities.
Sample Study of Major Depressive Disorder
“A mother brought her 7-year-old daughter to a pediatrician, worried about her daughter no longer showing any interest in playing with toys or cycling around the neighbourhood with her friends. Over the last 3 weeks, the child has shown a track record of preferring isolation and becoming increasingly irritable over time. There is no known trigger for her condition; she has also complained of increasing headaches and stomachaches over the past few weeks. Her teachers have noted irritable and impulsive behaviour in the classroom, and the little girl has talked about being worried regarding the death of several of her family members and friends.”
Of all different kinds of depressions that people often suffer from, Major Depressive Disorder, infamous as depression, is one that most people severely struggle with. Symptoms of depression in teens are most common, and this notion of चिंता i.e. Anxiety meaning in Hindi has become more prevalent all over the world, with people becoming more prone to depression. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is another kind of disorder that an increasing number of people have developed. Read carefully to know all you must about this life-threatening Major Depressive Disorder, and help out a loved one in need.