Teenage Depression

depression (in psychiatry)

depression, in psychiatry, a symptom of mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness, failure, and rejection. The two major types of mood disorder are unipolar disorder, also called major depression, and bipolar disorder, whose sufferers are termed manic-depressive (see bipolar disorder). Other types of depression are recognized, with characteristics similar to the major mood disorders, but not as severe: they are adjustment disorder with depression, dysthymic disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.

Close to 20% of Americans are likely to suffer major depression at some time, and women tend to be more susceptible to the disorder than men. Major depression is likely to interfere significantly with everyday activity, with symptoms including insomnia, irritability, weight loss, and a lack of interest in outside events. The disorder may last several months or longer—and may recur—but it is generally reversible in the short run.

Bipolar disorder is much rarer, affecting only about 1% of the U.S. population; women and men tend to be equally susceptible. Its sufferers alternate between states of depression—similar to that which is experienced in unipolar disorder—and mania, which is characterized by intense euphoria and frenetic activity. Bipolar disorders are often interspersed with periods of relatively normal behavior, which may last for long periods of time between episodes of depression or mania. Manic-depressives have an extremely high rate of suicide, and episodes of the disorder tend to recur.

Medical evidence suggests that depressive states may be connected to deficiencies in the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin. Drug therapy includes various antidepressants that act on the flow of neurotransmitters and lithium for bipolar disorder (antidepressants can cause mania when used to treat depression in bipolar patients). There also has been success with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for major depression.

In recent years, theorists have argued that many depressed individuals depend upon others for their self-esteem, and that the loss of one of these emotional supports often precipitates a depressive reaction. A number of psychologists contend instead that depression is a result of learned helplessness, which occurs when a person determines through experience that his actions are useless in making positive changes. Other theorists have shown that genetic factors play a role in depression.

See L. Wolpert, Malignant Madness (2000).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Dealing with Depression: A Commonsense Guide to Mood Disorders
Gordon Parker; David Straton; Kay Wilhelm; Philip Mitchell; Marie-Paule Austin; Kerrie Eyers; Dusan Hadzi-Paviovic; Gin Malhi; Sue Grdovic.
Allen & Unwin, 2004 (2nd edition)
Handbook of Chronic Depression: Diagnosis and Therapeutic Management
Jonathan E. Alpert; Maurizio Fava.
Marcel Dekker, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Approaches to Chronic Depression in Children and Adolescents"
What Drives a Teenager to Depression? an Insider's Sociological Look into Its Causes Melissa Mejia
Mejia, Melissa.
Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring 2011
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Sleep and Parent-Family Connectedness: Links, Relationships and Implications for Adolescent Depression
Mueller, Christian E.; Bridges, Sara K.; Goddard, Michelle S.
Journal of Family Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, April 2011
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Study of Solution-Focused Group Counseling in Decreasing Depression among Teenage Girls
Javanmiri, Leila; Kimiaee, Seyyed Ali; Abadi, Bahram Ali Ghanbari Hashem.
International Journal of Psychological Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 1, 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Looking Back at Adolescent Depression: A Qualitative Study
McCarthy, John; Downes, Edward J.; Sherman, Christine A.
Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 30, No. 1, January 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Investigating Health Correlates of Adolescent Depression in Canada
Afifi, Tracie O.; Enns, Murray W.; Cox, Brian J.; Martens, Patricia J.
Canadian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 96, No. 6, November/December 2005
Listening Clearly: Alternative Treatments for Adolescent Depression
McGlasson, Terry D.
The Prevention Researcher, Vol. 19, No. 4, November 2012
Assessment and Treatment of Adolescent Depression and Suicidality
Stanard, Rebecca Powell.
Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 22, No. 3, July 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Field Guide to the American Teenager: A Parent's Companion
Joseph Di Prisco; Michael Riera.
Perseus Publishing, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Distress, Depression, and Danger"
Mayo Clinic on Depression
Keith Kramlinger.
Mason Crest, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Childhood and Teenage Depression"
Coping with Depression in Young People: A Guide for Parents
Carol Fitzpatrick; John Sharry.
Wiley, 2004
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