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The Under Acknowledged Disease Depression is a disease thatafflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted tends to act andreact abnormally toward others and themselves Therefore it comes to no surpriseto discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicideAdolescent suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youths aged 15 to19 than cardiovascular disease or cancer Blackman 1995 Despite this increasedsuicide rate depression in this age group is greatly underdiagnosed andleads to serious difficulties in school work and personal adjustment whichmay often continue into adulthood How prevalent are mood disorders in childrenand when should an adolescent with changes in mood be considered clinicallydepressed Brown 1996 has said the reason why depression is often overlooked in children and adolescents is because children are not always ableto express how they feel Sometimes the symptoms of mood disorders takeon different forms in children than in adults Adolescence is a time of emotionalturmoil mood swings gloomy thoughts and heightened sensitivity It isa time of rebellion and experimentation Blackman 1996 observed that thechallenge is to identify depressive symptomatology which may be superimposedon the backdrop of a more transient but expected developmental stormTherefore diagnosis should not lay only in the physicians hands but beassociated with parents teachers and anyone who interacts with the patienton a daily basis Unlike adult depression symptoms of youth depression areoften masked Instead of expressing sadness teenagers may express boredomand irritability or may choose to engage in risky behaviors Oster Montgomery 1996 Mood disorders are often accompanied by other psychologicalproblems such as anxiety Oster Montgomery 1996 eating disordersLasko et al 1996 hyperactivity Blackman 1995 substance abuse Blackman1995 Brown 1996 Lasko et al 1996 and suicide Blackman 1995 Brown1996 Lasko et al 1996 Oster Montgomery 1996 all of which canhide depressive symptoms The signs of clinical depression include markedchanges in mood and associated behaviors that range from sadness withdrawaland decreased energy to intense feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughtsDepression is often
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