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Depression in Teenagers
By Daisuke Sawabe

We sometimes hear that depression is spreading widely regardless of people`s ages. I think depression is very common to us. Especially, depression in teenagers is becoming a big problem. I think depression has many influences, both physical and mental. We often hear that most young criminals were good boys before they made trouble, but they had become crazy when they committed a crime. Why do these cases often happen? I think this is related to depression. Crime occurs from agitation. They may have disorders of the emotions. Depression has mainly three types.
1. Depressed mood
Depressed mood means feelings like sadness or blues. After the problem is overcome, the mood disappears. This often happens in daily life.

2. Dysthymia ( Depression due to internal causes)
Dysthymia lasts a long time. The person loses interest in life or things, and always looks depressed, and gets eating or sleeping problems. Dysthymia is more serious than depressed mood.

3. Major depression ( Neurotic depression)
Major depression is caused by social or psychogenic stress. It appears in problems in life, such as sleeping problems or low energy. If things come to the worst, the depressed person may commit suicide.

Depression affects a person`s thought, behavior and health. Everyone has the possibility of getting depressed, because the causes are very common things and it occurs in ordinary life. Some of the major causes are:

1. Bereavement or parting
2. Troubles in personal relationships
3. Troubles of emotions
4. Changes of surroundings

These are very common things for people. Depending on the person, the gravity of the illness is different. The survey of the Ministry of Welfare, Japan, in 1999 says that 21,600 people go to hospital due to depression per day in Japan.

Youth are easily influenced by their surroundings. About 24% of teenagers suffer from depression. Teenagers are emotionally immature. Social competition also leads people to depression. Teenagers` school life influences the person`s life very much. There are problems related to human relationships, bullying and exams. Also, in this social competition, discrimination always happens; for example, teachers or other people sometimes discriminate against a person who is not good at study or work, as a inferior person. At work, sex discrimination is major problem. ) Recently, because of their problems, students who do not go to school are increasing. They become pessimistic and some do not express their emotions at all or sometimes they commit domestic violence or other crimes. Then the situation may lead people around them like family or friends to depression. Youth have many times to be in emotional trouble. Their hearts are full with their problems. Teenagers sometimes worry about what they are and their futures. Because of those emotional problems, teenagers sometimes use drugs, alcohol and violence to escape from depression or the situation. These problems make the depression worse and lead to bigger problems. They do not have enough knowledge to control their emotions.

Depression is an illness of heart. Depression is familiar to our lives. To prevent teenager`s getting depression, it is important for us to know the person`s feelings and improve the human relationships. The most important thing is helping each other.

Robert L. Seltman
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