There is an existentlack of understanding about clinical depression among adolescents aged 16-21.
An. Thapar, Collishaw, Aj. Thapar (2012) state that unpopular depressivedisorder in adolescence is common worldwide but often unrecognized. The incidence, notably in girls,rises sharply after puberty and, by the end of adolescence, the 1 yearprevalence rate exceeds 4%, showing that adolescents are notably vulnerable tothe disease. The gravity of the issue is more extreme than what itcurrently seems because people tend to ignore depression as a sickness andleave the person who has depression be. The strongest risk factorsfor depression in adolescents are a family history of depression and exposureto psychosocial pressure. This problem is serious because mental health isequally just as important as physiological health. Most people tend to overlookmental health just because it is something less tangible.
If overlooked or leftuntreated, further complications may even lead to self-degradation, self harm,or even suicide. The same is stated by the Teen Mental Health Organization. Additionally, WebMD (2018) reported thatdepression may also lead to various other physiological complications likeanxiety and panic disorders, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder.(The Link Between Depression and Other Mental Illnesses, para. 1). Unipolar depressive disorder is a common mental healthproblem in adolescents worldwide, with an estimated 1 year prevalence of 4-5%in mid to late adolescence. Depression in adolescents is a major risk factorfor suicide, the second-to-third leading cause of death in this age group.”(Thapar et al.
2012, p. 2). This further supports the researcher’s claim thatthere is truly a danger in the lack of understanding of depression. Failure toidentify and deal with it risks the contractions of various additional mentalhealth concerns. Additionally, the overlooking of depression also poses athreat to one’s physiological health as well. This is supported by the journalof the Canadian Mental Health Association. “Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronicphysical conditions.
Additionally, people with seriousmental health conditions are at high risk of experiencing chronic physicalconditions as well.” (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2004, para. 5). Countless stigmata are held against people who sufferfrom depression. For instance, people may view those who suffer from mentalillness as unpredictable, erratic individuals. Florez (2003) even stated thatit has often been proven that stigmatization and prejudice are the main reasonsas to why many people do not seek help or postpone seeking help until it is toolate. One of the most common sources of the stigmatization is prejudice. “Prejudice, which is fundamentally acognitive and affective response, leads to discrimination, the behavioralreaction.
” (Corrigan & Watson, 2002, para. 4). However, all these stigmata are notnecessarily true. Goldenberg (2014) states that”when a patient goes to my clinic with a mental health concern, I usually findout the medical causes in a relatively short amount of time”.
Goldenberg’s claim shows that with properprofessional help, depression can be understood and tackled with appropriateaction. There are widelyaccepted reasons as to why these stigmata form. The stigma which exists on thepeople who perceive mental health patients negatively is called the socialstigma. Socialstigma as defined by Psychology Todaywriter Dr. Graham Davey is characterized by “prejudicial attitudes anddiscriminating behavior directed towards individuals with mental healthproblems as a result of the psychiatric label they have been given.” (Davey, 2013, para. 2).
Crispet al. (2000) discovered three key points. The most commonly held belief wasthat people with mental health problems were a danger to society – especiallythose who displayed schizophrenia, alcoholism, and drug dependence.
Secondly, people believed that somemental health problems such as eating disorders and substance abuse were self-inflicted. Lastly, respondents believedthat people who suffered from mental health problems were generally difficultto talk to. People tended to hold these negative beliefs regardless of theirage, regardless of what knowledge they had of mental health problems, andregardless of whether they knew anyone who had a mental health problem. Corrigan and Watson (2002) wrotethat “stigmata regarding mental illness seem tobe widespread by the general public in the Western world. Studies may suggestthat the majority of citizens residing in the United States and many WesternEuropean countries have stigmatizing attitudes towards mental illness.” (par.5). The same study also claims that not just the public but even medicalprofessionals in various health-care institutions hold stigmata against mentalillnesses.
Moreover, the presence of a social stigma yields a so-called “selfstigma.” It is defined by Link, Cullen, Struening and Shrout (1989) as”the internalizing by the mental health sufferer of their perceptions ofdiscrimination.” If the understanding of depression persists,it can yield a variety of negative outcomes. For instance, the stigmatizationof those who suffer from it may cause sufferers to form a self–stigma. Once thesufferer internalizes these false perceptions of discrimination, it may lead toworsening their state of illness.
Furthermore, “perceived stigma cansignificantly affect feelings of shame and lead to poorer treatment outcomes.” (Perlick etal. par. 12). There is an existentlack of understanding of clinical depression among adolescents aged 16-21. Thereis also proof that adolescents are more susceptible to depression, due to thehormonal spike in their body systems. This is even more evident in girls goingthrough the stage of adolescence.
This lack of understanding accompanied withincreased vulnerability puts these adolescents at a risk of suffering fromdepression along with a lack of coping knowledge and at the same time may putthose who suffer from it in a worsened state as some, if not majority of theirpeers lack understanding of the illness. For instance, Jorm (2000) stated “Although adequate acknowledgment andunderstanding has been paid to health literacy, the sector of concerning mentalhealth literacy has been relatively left out” (par. 2). Another example of thisexistent lack of understanding was discussed by Sathyanarayana, Rao, Asha,& Rao (2008) in their paper titled “Understanding nutrition, depression andmental illnesses” where they argue that only a limited amount of people areaware of the correlation between depression and nutrition however most peopleeasily comprehend the connection between physical ailments and nutritionaldeficiencies. Additionally, Thapar, Collishaw, & Thapar (2012)highlight that depressive disorder in adolescence is common worldwide butfrequently unrecognized. They also statethat girls going through adolescence are more susceptible to the illness. Thesame study claims that the “1 year prevalence rate among adolescents exceed 4%”(par.
7), showing that the latter is truly vulnerable to the disease, especiallyin mid-to-late adolescence. To add fuel to the fire, this existentmisunderstanding yields stigmatization. Not surprisingly, Florez (2003) saidthat it has often been proven that stigmatization and prejudice are the mainreasons as to why many people do not seek help or postpone seeking help untilit is too late. The paper”Anxiety and depression in the workplace: Effects on the individual and organization(a focus group investigation)” by Haslam, Atkinson, and Haslam (2005) reportedthat “The respondents felt a pressingstigma and were not comfortable telling people in the workplace about theirillness. A lack of comprehension regarding the nature of anxiety and depressionamong their peers and managers was perceived by the respondents.” (par. 3),highlighting that depression is “stigmatized” and thus misunderstood in theworkplace.
The stigmatization then creates an environment where one who isgoing through the said illness may not be able to cope with it /be providedadequate support. The risk of this is highlighted by theCanadian Mental Health Association. “Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronicphysical conditions. Additionally, people with seriousmental health conditions are at high risk of experiencing chronic physicalconditions as well.” (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2004, par. 5). However,numerous counter claims also exist.
A study entitled “Depression in Adolescents”by Rudolph (2014) describe depression in adolescents as an illness that is”recognized” (par. 2), contrary to the researcher’s claim that depression iscurrently in lack of understanding. Additionally, a study titled “AdolescentMental Health Literacy: Young People’s Knowledge of Depression and Help Seeking”(2005) looked into the mental health literacy (how much one knowsabout mental health) of a group of adolescents, with reference specifically totheir ability to identify symptoms of depression in their colleagues.Respondents were 202 Australian adolescents comprised of 122 males and 80females, all of them within 15-17 years of age.
Their mental health literacywas determined through a questionnaire that presented five different scenariosof young people. The respondents displayed a mixed ability to correctly recognizeand label depression, however they demonstrated the ability to differentiatedepressed and non-depressed scenarios in terms of severity and expectedrecovery time. The results were discussed in correlation to the findings comingfrom adult mental health literacy and clinical implications. This result thuscounters the researcher’s claim as the respondents exhibited ability to fairlyrecognize and label depression, and even differentiate depressed andnon-depressed scenarios in terms of severity and expected recovery time. Theresearch gap is mainly the lack of studies focusing on the importance andurgency on the lack of understanding of clinical depression among adolescentsaged 16-21. A number of previous studies have focused on the current state ofthe awareness of the illness’ understanding among adolescents, however no studyhas paid a premium on the reasons as to why these adolescents lackunderstanding and more importantly, why these adolescents exhibit vulnerabilityand susceptibility to this illness. The research problem is concerned mainly on the followingquestions: 1.
Why is there a lack of understanding of clinicaldepression among adolescents aged 16-21? 2. Are adolescents aged 16-21 really more vulnerable toclinical depression, and if so, why? 3. What are the possible negative effects of the lack ofunderstanding and vulnerability, both to those who suffer from itand their surrounding peers as well? The researcher questioned the reasons for the lack ofunderstanding to understand the underlying factors that play a role to theexistent lack of understanding. Additionally, the researcher selectedadolescents as the focus of the study as adolescents are those who go throughkey hormonal changes in their systems which affect them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Theresearcher aimed to uncover the underlying factors in order to be able toaddress the issues by finding remedies to whatever factors are proven to fuelthe misunderstanding and vulnerability.
Objectivesof the Capstone Project (Extended Playlist of Songs that Aim to RaiseUnderstanding Of Clinical Depression)1. To give a clear,concise, and accurate definition of what clinical depression is, and possiblywhat it feels like in the form of a song/s.2. To raiseunderstanding of clinical depression and how to cope with it and support thosewho suffer from it in the form of a song/s. Overview of the Study The study aims to prove that there is an existent lack ofunderstanding about clinical depression among adolescents aged 16-21.
The studyalso aims to understand whether or not adolescents aged 16-21 are highlyvulnerable to depression. The researcher will focus on adolescents in variousschools around the Metro. They will be interviewed with a questionnaire to testtheir understanding of clinical depression verified by a licensed guidancecounselor who graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology from theUniversity of Santo Tomas. The results will then be described in a qualitativemanner. The areas that the respondents misunderstand will then be what thesongs will aim to cover and explain.