Manic Depression and Anxiety in Teens, Free Essay in Psychology

Published: 2022-05-03
Manic Depression and Anxiety in Teens, Free Essay in Psychology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Mental health Bipolar disorder
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1910 words
16 min read

"Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused." (Alan Cohen, 2012) The beginning of this year my friend's only son who was a freshman at MIT was found dead in his college dorm room. Later they found out he killed himself. Learning of his suicide opened an old wound for me. On June 18, 2014, when I was visiting my family in Canada, My niece who I grew up with and considered my sister took her own life. She jumped from a twenty story building.

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American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (2016) states, In the United States, nearly 45,000 people commit suicide each year. More than 90 percent of those who commit suicide suffer from serious mental illness before their deaths. My niece had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She'd been treated and hospitalized dozens of times. Knowing her disease and watching her struggle with her mental illness for close to 10 years helped me cope with her death.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2008), 5.7 million American adults suffer from bipolar disorder, an illness characterized by wide mood swings. A person with bipolar disorder may experience the highest of highs alternating with the lowest of lows. These manic and depressive episodes can last anywhere from a few hours to months. Manic episodes are characterized by feelings of elation and high energy. People often have racing thoughts and are unable to sleep or even sit still. During a depressive episode, a person experiences extreme sadness. They often feel helpless or hopeless, unable to take pleasure from activities they had enjoyed.

Over the break I observed someone close to me going through manic, self-destructive behavior, it became obvious that something was wrong. Teens who are normally mild-mannered and kind when well, get the aggression. Families suffer in silent because they are scared to tell anyone about what goes on at home.

We started noticing things when she was about 11 years old," explains Christina's mother, Miriam. "Her baby tantrum got worse as she got older. We finally decided to take her to a psychiatrist when she was 14, but there was no diagnosis." At 16, a psychiatrist diagnosed her with depression and prescribed three different medications one after another, an antidepressant that just wouldn't work on her. She turned into this irritated girl, cutting herself, dressing in black clothes, unhappy, with suicidal thoughts, hyper-sexuality and mania. She had a hard time concentrating in school, which can be very scary and shameful especially for an overachiever like her. As a household, we were responsible for her moods. It was our job to make her happy; she was just so unhappy with everything, she would make sure that everyone around her was unhappy too. As far as my concern, Christina hated day to day life with us. Being home with us enraged her, and she would find something to yell and scream at us about. Inevitably, this led to one evening when she became unwell rapidly a couple of years ago. Initially, she had days when she was intensely aggravated with the whole family and suffered from episodes of anxiety and depression. But then one day she decided it is proper for her to cut her wrist and swallow her entire bottle of medication. This was the start of very strong suicidal thoughts over the years. She has been hospitalized so many times I can't even remember to count.

Today as I observed Christina in the hospital I realized this illness control over her life. Bipolar disorder affects your energy levels, behavior, and physiology. It also has been affecting her memory. To other people, it seems that you have changed entirely because one's mood may swing rapidly. I remember selling 12 gold bracelets for half price one time to buy a Louis Vuitton bag which I regretted later. From my observations she is hypersensitive to noise which can be problematic for her, making her angry all the time. She believes that others are commenting inimical on her. This disease had been affecting her memory as well. At times, physically her energy level is immense. She can go kickboxing all day without being tired when she feels like this, but the problem is that it doesn't last. She believes that others are commenting inimical on her appearance or behavior. She can become very frightened and antisocial.

In my other observation X who was always an honor student except this year mentions when her sleep is poor. She will change from being an overachiever to not being interested in any subject at all. This affects my school considerably; I am unable to do the smallest tasks. I drop things. The exhaustion becomes too much to handle. Sometimes, I binge only on sweet foods because other foods have no taste to me. I start to feel baited, that the only escape is death. Ultimately I convince myself to stop taking my medications, and I deserve to die.

Some of the signs of manic depression and anxiety in teens include the intense mood and behavior changes, signs of excitement and being more active compared to the peers. Manic episodes in bipolar disorder are characterized by several signs including changes in appetite, troubled concentration among others. Other teenagers are too moody which shows some signs of high and lows more often compared to other children of their age group. In some other teenagers, the mood changes affect their behavior and performance in school. Some adolescents show signs of the disorder through rushed and pressured speeches, decreased the need for sleep, racing thoughts, increased goal-oriented activity, poor judgment, grandiose thoughts which are thoughts about having super abilities and powers, impulsivity and tangential speech which is frequently switching topics. The symptoms of the bipolar disorder depend on the patient's experiences whether depressive or manic episode. All these are signs of the bipolar disorder associated with the depression and anxiety. This is a serious mental illness, and the parents of these children should seek medical advice at one once they notice these signs among their children.

Other signs and symptoms of the manic episode among children and teens include very short tempers, talk and think about sex more often, complain about pains such as stomachaches and headaches, feel guilty and worthless, little energy and lack of interest in fun activities and thinking about death or suicide. The diagnosis of the diseases psychiatrists has to rely on the feedback from close family members, DSM criteria, and genetics. Moreover, the bipolar and the manic depression differ between the age groups, sexes, geographical regions, sociopolitical settings and the variable associates with different suggesting aetiological heterogeneity and risk factors (Najt et a. 2016). However, there is no effective algorithm to predict the disorders improved recognition, clinical practice, and understanding of psychological, clinical, biological and sociological factors and how they might help in detecting the high-risk individuals and assist in the treatment selection. Follow-up of people with these disorders remains a key to prevent suicidal behaviors.

The bipolar symptoms usually make it hard for the teenager to get along with friends and family members and to do well in school. Most of these disorder problems develop among children and teenagers but usually lasts a lifetime. However, with the necessary help, the child can manage these symptoms and lead a successful life (Axelson et al. 2015).

Although the causes of the bipolar disorder are not known, several factors are known to contribute to the disorder including, inherited genes that usually runs in the family. Nevertheless, it is important to note that is one family member of the family has the bipolar disorder, others in the family have it too. A child has a five to ten percent increased risk of developing the disorder (Najt et a. 2016). The structure of the brain is another contributor to the bipolar disorder. Others talk about the brain function although scientists are doing more research regarding the same and with more studies scientists are likely to predict whether one will develop the disorder and even help individuals avoid the disorder. Parents and teachers are the first once to notice the behavioral changes among the teenagers. Most of the teenagers with the bipolar will meet a majority of the DSM criteria (Axelson et al. 2015). Those that do not fall into these categories need the careful review from the physicians to receive the proper treatment. Unless better methods are discovered physicians and the family members will continue struggling to try the best treatment for adolescent diagnosed with the bipolar disorder.

In the pathogenesis of the bipolar disorder, immune and neurochemical alterations are involved although their precise roles remain unclear. According to Mesman et al. 2015 study, increased inflammatory genes expressions are evident among bipolar offspring. This has the effect of causing the mood swings, loss of interest in fun activities and desire to be alone among other results.

Stigmatizing teens with depression in school makes the children feel more irritable, angry and extremely fatigued. When they are at home, they feel the same way and most ends up locking themselves in their rooms, playing dark videos or sleeping all afternoon. These behavioral changes are easy to notice if you are a parent that this is not just the usual teenager's mood swing and such children need medical intervention as soon as possible. Seeing a psychiatrist will help one discuss about their mood swings, increased need for the sleep, desire to be alone and temper fits. The child is given a chance to talk about their experiences with other children and what is causing their feeling of hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness. The parent also plays a key role in ensuring that their child recovers and can become energetic, talkative and excitable again. The psychiatrist medicines usually are used to regulate the extreme highs and lows of the illness. The regular cognitive psychotherapy sessions are important to help educate the child as well as the parent regarding the mood disorder and its treatment. Nevertheless, psychiatrist help alone is not a guarantee to a child fully recovery because the cause of the problem may persist (Najt et a. 2016). Therefore, the parent should openly communicate with their children, listen more and talk to the teachers about the issue and ensure that the cause of the problem is solved before its too late.

The medication for the disorder includes a combination of drugs including mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication and or antipsychotics. Some of the medications have side effects, and it may take several tries before the right medication is found for them. Parents should encourage their children to share their thoughts with them, doctors, or even their school counselor. The therapy and the conversations will assist the adolescent to manage their medication, cope with the symptoms, navigate the risk of substance abuse, develop healthy habits and behavior (Axelson et al. 2015). These processes will also encourage a teenager higher self-esteem, challenge negative thinking and provide a safe place where they feel free, heard and also voice their concerns. School counselors are important for the added support which is vital for the successful transition of the child into an adult. In case of the extreme highs and lows, the crisis support which includes 9-1-1 and the national suicide prevention lifeline is necessary. Parents are encouraged to take care of their children with the disorder themselv...

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