Headline April 18, 2016/ ''' *TEENAGERS* and DEPRESSIONS '''


AT THE FIRST CONCEPTUAL  historic host of the World Students Society, Pakistan-

As I romped through life's  battle lines, schools, colleges, universities- and all and every sphere-

I became intensely aware, that the past many decades of environment and ecosystems, had only gone on to create  *More Than Just The Blues*. I was terribly wrong in thinking that Depressions were for adults. 

Since then, I have begun thinking again, and figuring out how best to get the base line in this part of the world. I hope this research helps.

STUDENT SARAH CHEUNG  of Singapore had always been a very bright and sociable child.

She attended an elite school, and did well in her studies and sports.

But around the age of 14 something changed. Sarah became overwhelmed by a sense of despair that she couldn't explain.

''She said she felt sad most of the of the day and cried for no apparent reason,'' says Dr Bernardine Woo, a consultant psychiatrist with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore, who treated Sarah.

''She described feeling useless and said life was not worth living.'' Sarah could not sleep at night and withdrew from her friends and family.  

Over the next two years, Sarah lost interest in school, and her marks dropped from  As to Bs and Cs. She told no-one about her inner turmoil. As it got worse, she even thought of suicide.

Student Sarah was the vice-captain of her school's netball team. Despite a rigorous training schedule, she became increasingly distracted and  tired during team workouts. her teacher was also worried about the deterioration in her academic performance and her lack of participation in class.

After speaking to Sarah  about her concerns, the teacher arranged for her to see a child psychiatrist. It was only then that the teenager was diagnosed with depression.

Sarah's case is not unusual. The 2001  Malaysian Urban Mental Health Survey found that 23 per cent of   13 -to-  15  year olds may have experienced symptoms of depression.

And experts across the region are witnessing a rise in teen depression. ''We are definitely seeing more cases now than five years ago,'' says Dr Jocelyn Nieva Yatco-Bautista, president of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists of the Philippines 

Dr. Paritat Silpakit , deputy director of the Suan Prung Psychiatrist Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand estimates that he is treating twice as many teenagers for depression than he did five years ago.  

Factors such as increasing divorce rates and rising academic pressures can push the kids to the brink. ''Mood changes in  teenagers  can no longer be attributed to the adolescence whereby they just grow out of that phase,'' says Dr Woo. ''Teenage depressions must be seen as a medical condition or illness.''

The effect can be devastating. Studies show depressed adolescents are more likely to fail at school, become promiscuous and abuse alcohol or drugs. ''They are also more likely to have depression as adults,'' says Dr Silpakit.

According to research, teenagers with clear-cut case of depression by the age 15.7 in girls and  15.9 in boys will, on average, have further bouts throughout their lives, each episode lasting six to nine months.

In extreme cases, a youngster may sink into a depression deep enough to commit suicide. Says Cheong Sau Kuan, a psychologist in private practice in Kuala Lumpur : 

''When depressed adolescents are not treated in time, a sense of hopelessness takes hold and and they will often think of suicide as an option to deal with their problems.''

But there's good news. Teenagers diagnosed with depressions have an excellent chance of recovery   -even better than adults with the condition. Why?  ''Their negative thought processes are less entrenched and easier to change with cognitive therapy, compared to adults,'' explains Dr Woo.

Treatment typically involves up to 12 sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy, in which teenagers talk with a therapist about sources of stress and coping strategies.When a non-drug approach has failed, they may also be prescribed anti-depressants.

However, ''only a small number of teenagers have been diagnosed and treated for depression,'' according Dr Silpakit. ''I estimate that less than ten per cent of depressed teenagers in Korea are receiving treatment,'' says Dr K. Michael Hong professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at-

Seoul National University College of Medicine and vice president of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions. 

The Honour and serving of the ''Operational Research'' on teenagers, Life and Living continues. Thank Ya all for reading and sharing forward.

With respectful and most loving dedications to all the Parents,Teachers, and the Students of the world. See ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society:

''' To Write - To Create '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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