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Depression and Mood Swings

To begin with, depression and mood swings have been noted to be prevalent among adolescents. As such this is a group that is so sensitive since it is the time that there is the development both physically and mentally. Depression in this regard, happens to be a psychological disorder much pronounced in the teenage years.  It is associated with oversleeping or under sleeping, appetite problems, ebbed pleasure, worthlessness feelings, fatigue, messed up concentration, negative thoughts of suicide and death and poor motivation along with hopelessness and helplessness (Mufson, Moreau & Weismann 2004, p.3).

Mood swings on the other hand, is an extreme or a rapid kind of a change in mood. They are closely linked with mood disorders emanating from such examples as the bipolar disorder in other words termed as manic depression. So speak it has been so much overlooked resulting to adverse cases that puts a requirement to be addressed. In this connection, it involves the effects of the personal functioning which incorporates behavioral, somatic, poignant and cognitive. Due to these effects, the life of the adolescents tends to change in terms of concentration ability and as a consequence for many in schools performance decline (Mufson, Moreau & Weismann 2004).

At the same time, friendships and family relationships are strained as a result of the moodiness and the emotions exhibited by the teens. They also tend to adapt an aspect of isolation and being argumentative and aggressive. From this point of view, they develop mood swings which make them to behave weirdly. In this sense, they are affected in their sleep, appetite, socially and their general health in the larger perspective. In consistent with this, many of the adolescents develop various associated behaviors ranging from being antisocial, abuse of drugs, increased numbers of school drop outs, suicidal cases and such other related behaviors.

Despite these kind of observations made and the extremity of the same, there can be some therapeutic interventions that can be applied. In line with this, symptoms of depression and mood swings will be brought into view from a counseling point of view. However, before bringing in the issue of counseling, it is prerequisite for one to get a clear understanding of the kind of a group he or she is dealing with. The whole scope of the depression as well as mood swings associated with the teens along with the causes should be well grasped. In this manner, such a counselor would be able to meet the needs of the disturbed adolescents. In order to help the adolescents with the depression and mood swings, it is important to note the symptoms and the signs of the condition.

During adolescent stage, many teens tend to have an abstract kind of reasoning as well as thinking. As such, the depressed adolescents will have a propensity to have mood swings in the sense that they have feelings of worthlessness, sadness, isolation, diminished ability to concentrate, unmotivated, socially incompetent, helplessness and hopelessness which deviate from the normal range. The normal range in this case describes the mood swings caused by hormonal changes resulting from growth and deveopment. Additionally, low self esteem has been pointed out as a prevalent symptom among the depressed teenagers along with having no sense of feeling any joy and experiencing of any pleasure (Mufson, Moreau & Weismann 2004, p.42). These are some of the symptoms that one who needs or who are given to the counseling of adolescents needs to know.

 Counseling of teenagers can be in this necessitated by making provision for ways of intervention which involve the primary, secondary and tertiary interventions. This is to suggest that dealing with depression cannot be addressed from a shallow and limited point of view but instead it should be approached from a broader point of view. In the same line of thought, for primary intervention and counseling, it should be directed to the larger population of adolescents by making them to realize this Major Depression Disorder that affects them as adolescents.

Again, the counselor should seek to identify those that bear the symptoms of depression and address it since they are already affected. In such a case, a counselor is expected to note the issue of making them to participate in realization that there is a fault in their mode of thinking, behaving and ensure that relaxation strategy is applied in order to keep the depressed busy to avoid more depression (Matson 1989). Furthermore, the tertiary prevention strategy involves the use of mental health care providers for medical help. Occasionally, depression and mood swings among adolescents have been underrated and as a result it has really become a detrimental factor among the teenagers. Research has put it forward that many girls are affected as compared to boys. Nonetheless, the general prevalence of depression and mood swings cannot be ignored (Beck & Alford 2009).

From a counseling perspective, there are several ways that can be employed in order to deal with depression and mood swings among the adolescents. First, primary intervention, secondary intervention and tertiary in the eventuality are required in a close participation of the adolescents. This strategy would work in the sense that the counselor would be in a position to interact closely with the adolescents and recognizing the problems that they encounter and their perception of the same. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another good intervention that has been proved to be effective in dealing with depression and mood swings among the adolescents. The basis of this intervention is that one’s behavior or affect is determined by the way he or she interprets the world (Shafi & Shafii 1992).  

Also, CBT therapist have made a suggestion that depression is caused by a combination of an awkward  dysfunctional process of thought and maladaptive behaviors brought about by these thoughts. Since these dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors are acquired through learning,  it is therefore possible for depressed adolescents to learn new  and more adaptive skills that can affect their moods and the ability to make the interpretation of the world in a more realistic and positive way.  For that reason, CBT intervention is aimed at helping the depressed adolescents or those at risk to be able to make identification and correction of the irrational behaviors as well as the distorted thinking they hold and instead adapt a better behavior and rational beliefs as well.

Having pointed out the CBT as one of the best ways and the most appropriate in dealing with Depression and mood swings among adolescents, it is not only the way out but though it also works in a school environment, School based programs can work this trick. Schools in this sense come in the context due to the fact that a great population in the schools comprise of adolescents. Following this point, school based programs with a counselor can help intervene in this problem. This is to suggest that with collaboration with the school teachers who happen to be in direct contact with students, can help identify those that have been affected along with those that need referrals (Beck & Alford 2009). With this, the counselor can be able to counsel them as entire population of the school at a primary level and then the ones that have shown symptoms and signs together with those that are at risk be counseled at a secondary level. In the same line of thought, those that are already depressed can be helped by means of ensuring that referrals are made in order to make treatment of the same.

Having pointed defined depression and mood swings among adolescents, its causes, symptoms and signs, the whole scope of the problem has been brought into view. Likewise, provision of interventions from the counseling perspective has been explored together with the explanations on how it can be carried out. Generally, depression and mood swings among adolescents have been noted of late with effects ranging from mild to severe ones. Although, CBT has been pointed out by researchers as the best alternative as an intervention, there remains much to be done in the future in order to make a complete address of this problem. Therefore, future research work and effort should be directed to meet this requirement.

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