AiS Challenge Team Interim

Team Number: 063

School Name: Newcomb High School

Area of Science: Social and Behavioral Science

Project Title: Do teenagers know they are depressed?



Definition of Problem:
Depression is an uncomfortable mental state of being usually characterized as blue, dejected, or discouraged. People who are depressed have feelings such as being exhausted, that there is no point in life, having no energy, that life is a long struggle, and that rare moments in life are just not enough. Mostly all people get depressed at some point of life. That is the basic feelings of emptiness, exhaustion, and meaninglessness is universal. Crossing all borders of age, sex, and nationality. Approximately 4 out of 100 teenagers get seriously depressed each year.

We emerge from it by ourselves, but we get terrified by our own depression that we can't face it. It harder on teenagers that depression just becomes one long struggle. Sometimes people get seriously depressed after something like a divorce in the family, major financial problems, someone you love dying, a messed up home life, and breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Other times, depression just happens. Often teenagers react to the pain of depression by getting into trouble: trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; problems with family or friends. This another reason why it's important to get treatment for depression before it leads to other trouble. First, there are two kinds of depression: the sad kind, called major depression, dysthymia or reactive depression, and manic depression or bipolar illness, when feeling down and depressed alternates with being speeded-up and sometimes acting reckless. Those accompanied by delusions or hallucinations are sometimes called psychotic depression. Psychological theories of the cause of major depression remain unproven. Nowadays depression is more likely to affect a person because of all the stress we are under.

A lot of depressed people, especially teenagers, also have problems with alcohol or other drugs. (Alcohol is a drug, too.) Sometimes the depression comes first and people try drugs as a way to escape it. Alcohol blocks our mind sends us to places we never do see. Other times, the alcohol or other drug use comes first, and the drug causes depression itself, withdrawal from it or the problems that substance abuse causes.

However, long or short depression is hours, days, or even weeks, we become convinced that we can't emerge from it. We terrify ourselves by thinking of suicide. When we are depressed, this projection into the future is blocked. In the sense of depression, it is the dead end to life. That life holds nothing more and there is no existence that constitutes a sense of completion. Suicide after all is seen as the ultimate mental sickness literally fatal. Thinking of suicide has showed that we have entered a dark and literally irrational realm of emotion. Some people imagine their death and when imagination takes over there is nothing more to do, but do the act itself. In the life of suicide annihilation of self-awareness is the main aim. The thought of suicide becomes obsessive. If we can face depression with out death, we are less likely to seek self-annihilation.

Plan for solving:
Having depression doesn't mean that a person is weak, or a failure, or isn't really trying…it means they need Treatment. Most people with depression can be helped with Counseling, provided by a professional psychologist, and some are helped with Medicine. Counseling, or psychotherapy, means talking about feelings with a trained psychologist who can help you change relationships, thoughts, or behaviors that are causing the depression.

Medicine is used to treat depression that is severe or disabling. Antidepressant medications are not "uppers" and are not addictive. There are teenagers out there who need help. There are people out in the world that would help out. There our school counselors, friends, family, trusted family member, and family doctor.

Description of problem:
We want to help students with their symptons of depresion. Later on if we sense that a students is depressed we will give them some information of what depression really is because if they do not get help with it, could do a lot of mental and emotional danger towards them. Remember you're only a teenager once and have to live everyday with not so many worries. We are trying to reach out to these students who really need help. But in our school some of the students aren't really open with their feelings.

Progress to this time:
Our progress at this time is very good. We have consumed a survey for our students to take. We have not yet handed them out until we get fully into the problem and understand it very well.

Result expect to get:
What we expect to get out of the survey is to see if any of our students need help or are depressed and if they are we will help them through. Give them advice and so on. We will explain our project to them because they may not know they are depressed.

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