AiS Challenge Team Abstract

Team Number: 063

School Name: Newcomb High School

Area of Science: Social and Behavioral Science

Project Title: Do teenage know they are depressed?



Do teenage know they are depressed? The topic of our project is Depression. Depression is a major psychiatric disease that mainly affects out teenagers today. Depression, an emotional state in which there is extreme feelings of sadness, dejection, lack of worth, and emptiness. It could be triggered by a significant loss, Parental depression, Family Conflicts, Poor communication with the Family unit, High Parental Expectations, and Learning Disabilities.

As a result teenagers either use drugs, alcohol or suicidal intentions to be release from this dramatic situation. During the teen years, is when the affects of depression are more apparent. These years are when teen's go through the maturation process which is when they are discovering their identity, clarifying their sexual role, knowing their independence, learning to cope with authority, and finding goals that give meaning to their life. But these are also difficult for them to accomplish.

Depression causes a person, especially a teenager, to become someone else. It's the lose of confidence in a person. Depression among teens especially today, is very fatal. Individuals spanning the ages 15-24, who of the same sex, deal with depression. The lack of self-confidence causes teens to turn to drugs and suicide as an escape from reality and pain. The affects of a drug make, those suffering from depression, forget about their problems and insecurities.

The two things that cover up depression are suicide and drugs. Suicide happens when depression has taken over everything. When a person feels hopeless, and helpless. Almost 7,000 teens attempt to kill themselves yearly. Half of their attempts are successful. The suicide rate has increased 200% over the last decade. Surveys have also indicated that teenage white males run a great risk of becoming suicide victims, than members of any other racial group. Why? We do not know. Fatal suicidal thoughts are often caused by severe depression and drug addiction.

Drugs and alcohol often cover up depression. Both, if misused, can lead to death. Other peers or bad influences pressure Most times teens into doing drugs and taking alcohol. Other time's substance abuse is a means to escape from psychological or emotional conflict. Mood altering substances, such as alcohol are often abused in order to cover up depression. Acts of substance abuse can also play with your mind, and life. The effects of drugs can put you into another state of mind. It aggravates and makes the effects of depression worst.

Girls are mainly affected by depression, but less likely to attempt suicide, and become addicted to drugs. But a majority of the time, teen suicides are mostly caused by the influences of drugs.

A loss can be due to death, divorce, separation, or loss of an important friend or romantic interest, loss can also be more subtle- loss of childhood or familiar way of being, loss of goals through achievement or of boundaries and guidelines. Some researchers feel that there may be a genetic link to chronic depression, but serious depression in the parent can also trigger reactive depression in a teenager.

Parents or Stepparents quarrels and marriage problems to sibling battles, alcoholism or drug abuse by a family member. Family members don't communicate well; teens have a lack of emotional support in crisis. The teen may feel a sense of hopelessness in never measuring up to parental expectations. A number of teenagers with learning disabilities a depressed. Due to low self-esteem or teasing from peers. About 15% to 20% of American teens have experienced a serious episode of depression. Adolescent girls are twice as likely as boys to experience depression. Why we choose to do this project is because adolescents are becoming more and more depressed. We want to find out how it triggers the mind, and affects the teenager's actions. We are planning to give out a survey to our students. To determine whether they are depressed, which parts of the mind are being hurt and if they are using drugs and alcohol, or even if they are suicidal. After giving the survey and finding results we will put together the virtual model. Which is explaining how many of our high school students may be depressed.

We are going to get help from a mentor, teachers, books, and the Internet. In the end hopefully we could find a better way and also to maybe help people to understand how difficult it is to be depressed. This could be a difficult project but we will try.

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