The under acknowledged disease called depression is a disease that afflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted tends to act and react abnormally toward others and themselves. Therefore it comes to no surprise to discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicide. Adolescent suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youth?s aged 15 to 19 than cardiovascular disease or cancer (Blackman, 1995). Recent studies have shown that greater than 20% of adolescents in the general population have emotional problems and one-third of adolescents attending psychiatric clinics suffer from depression. Despite this increased suicide rate, depression in this age group is greatly under diagnosed and leads to serious difficulties in school, work and personal adjustment, which may often continue, into adulthood.
How prevalent are mood disorders in children and when should an adolescent with changes in mood be considered clinically depressed Brown (1996) has said the reason why depression is often over looked in children and adolescents are because ?children are not always able to express how they feel.? Sometimes the symptoms of mood disorders take on different forms in children than in adults. Adolescence is a time of emotional
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