Adolescence and Teenage Depression Speak Essay Example
Adolescence and Teenage Depression Speak Essay Example

Adolescence and Teenage Depression Speak Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1502 words)
  • Published: December 16, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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"Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson is a research paper that examines the story of Melinda Sordino, a depressed teenage girl who chooses to remain silent. The book's title is ironic as it reflects her silence throughout the narrative.

Contained within the mind of Melinda, a reserved adolescent, is the narrative of her unenjoyable experiences during her first year in high school. Despite the plentiful amount of fellow students at her educational institution, Melinda elects to distance herself from all others. Her lack of social interaction can be attributed to an event that occurred over the summer, resulting in a loss of friendships she previously had during middle school.

Melinda called the police on her friend's end of summer party, which her classmates deemed unnecessary. However, Melinda alone knows the true reason behind her actions. Even if her peers were c


urious about the reason, she cannot bring herself to share her personal rape story. Melinda recounts the agony she endures on a daily basis following the traumatic event.

The teenage girl who experiences rape is likely to suffer from depression. Melinda feels misunderstood and isolated, even if others knew about what happened to her during the summer. Previously a cheerful person, Melinda is now unhappy and avoids social interaction. Her academic performance has also declined as she barely communicates and harms herself by biting her lips and nails to the point of bleeding.

Despite her parents believing that it is temporary, their daughter has been deeply impacted by a traumatic event that will have lasting effects on her life. The transition from middle school to high school can often cause adolescents to feel isolated and alienated, resulting in difficulties

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in familial, academic, peer, and societal relationships. As a result of her trauma, Melinda experiences these emotions more acutely with each aspect of her life amplifying the unbearable agony she cannot handle.

Melinda's pain has caused her depression, but she missed several chances to seek assistance. Teenage depression goes beyond temporary sadness or a bad mood; it is a significant problem that affects all areas of a young person's existence.

Ignoring teenage depression can lead to adverse effects on a person's home, school, and overall life. It is often triggered by past traumatic experiences that may not be fully comprehended by teenagers but still haunt them. Having knowledge about adolescent depression is essential in assisting those who are impacted. Melinda, the protagonist in the story, shows various signs of depression like alterations in thought patterns and conduct, loss of drive, and social withdrawal.

Psych Info Online reports that Melinda exhibited various indications of depression in the book, such as sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, withdrawal from companionship, waning interests in activities, social seclusion, ineffective communication skills, low self-evaluation, guilt and dropping grades. The main factor responsible for inducing Melinda's depression was the rape episode; however her detached and uninvolved parents also played a role.

According to, Melinda's parents' frequent absences and reliance on post-it notes for communication exacerbated her depression. The website emphasizes the significance of providing support to teenagers battling depression as it can negatively impact their growth beyond mere feelings of sadness. Depression can corrode fundamental aspects of a teenager's character and lead to dire consequences.

According to, depression can result in a variety of issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, low self-esteem, self-injury, violence, reckless

behavior, suicide, poor social skills and school-related problems. Meanwhile, Family First Aid reveals that 20% of children experience mental health concerns like emotional or behavioral problems with one in ten facing severe emotional issues. Additionally, approximately 12.5% of teenagers suffer from depression. Despite these alarming figures only around 30% of affected children and adolescents receive any form of intervention or treatment.

Despite their best efforts to navigate the challenges of adolescence, 70% of teens must endure the agony of emotional turmoil. Parent advocate and founder of Parents Universal Resource Experts, Sue Scheff, has devoted herself to supporting the parents of depressed teens. She emphasizes the gravity of teenage depression, citing alarming statistics that indicate 20% of teens will struggle with depression before reaching adulthood.

According to Scheff (2007), a majority of teenagers will undergo various episodes of depression. In less than two years, over 20% to 40% will have multiple bouts and almost 70% will encounter several episodes before reaching adulthood. Teenage depression typically persists for roughly eight months and can be intensified by traumatic events like sexual abuse.

As teenagers mature, they may gain a better understanding of certain events, but lack of emotional support from family or friends can lead to stress and depression. Hormonal changes and conflicts related to independence during the maturation process can also result in short-term emotional states. Medline Plus suggests that some cases of adolescent depression are reactions to upsetting situations.

To manage Melinda's depression, I suggest combining antidepressants with cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach has been shown to be particularly effective for teenagers who have low self-esteem, engage in high levels of self-criticism, and feel powerless when faced with negative experiences.


to ABC News, family therapy is crucial for tackling teenage depression. It could have aided Melinda's parents in identifying the symptoms earlier. Psychotherapy has been found effective in combating adolescent depression by targeting negative thought patterns and incorrect beliefs that contribute to this condition. Additionally, psychotherapy can assist teenagers in developing a new identity that brings comfort during difficult times.

ABC News reports that a study of 27 trials on antidepressant medication treatments found that around 5,000 children and adolescents had a low risk (1%) of increased suicidal thoughts or behavior, which is less than previous estimates. The study indicated that many adolescents showed significant improvement from medication and treatment, indicating that the benefits of antidepressants outweigh the risks for children. Furthermore, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on addressing distorted thinking patterns in depressed individuals regarding themselves and their surroundings.

The main goal of therapy is to address the mentioned distortions within a set time period. An article titled "Support and Relational Effects in Psychotherapy" by Cohen, Lakey, and Neely published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology reveals that cognitive-behavioral therapy has a remission rate of almost 65%, which is higher than family therapy and supportive therapy. Cognitive-behavioral treatment also results in quicker response times. It's important for parents to comprehend their child's depression and seek available treatment options. In the discussed novel, Melinda's parents were disengaged with her situation, assuming it was just a phase. If they had been more attentive, they may have recognized her condition early on and taken appropriate action.

Parents should be aware that a combination of psychotherapy and medication can significantly enhance a teenager's academic, social, and familial performance. Teenage depression is a

crucial subject that demands comprehension from all parties. Research indicates alarming rates and instances of teenage depression. The community, friends, family, and parents can collaborate to assist depressed teenagers in their path to recuperation. Speak vividly depicts the mental state of a depressed teenage girl.

Melinda is troubled by the negative effects of rape and depression, particularly on adolescents who frequently face the aftermath of trauma alone. Although she had several chances to confide in someone during her initial year in high school, Melinda persisted without any assistance. Studies indicate that 4 percent of teenagers suffer from depression.

It is essential to prevent depression from becoming a life-threatening issue since it affects individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Research has shown that Cohen, J.L. cites girls as being twice as susceptible to depression compared to boys.

, In April of 2008, an article titled "Support and Relational Effects in Psychotherapy" was published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology by Lakey, B., and Neely, L.C.

The abstract can be found at a URL on the website. The resource provides information about teen depression statistics and warning signs for troubled teenagers.

On May 27, 2008, "Teen Depression" was retrieved from Help Guide, and "Teen Depression" was also retrieved on May 25, 2008, from http://www.helpguide.

The webpage at, authored by S. Scheff, provides information on teenage depression and was accessed on May 27, 2008.On May 28, 2008, information on depression was obtained from the Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia through the Google Scholar Database. The website that was used for this purpose is and the details are enclosed within that are contained in a paragraph tag.The website gov/medlineplus/ency/article/1518.htm provides

information on depression in teenagers, as retrieved from Psych Info Online on May 28, 2008 at http://www.The source of psychological information on teenage depression is accessible via the webpage authored by John and Todd in 2007 on April 17th.

ABC retrieved a review of Teenage Depression antidepressants from on May 26, 2008.

Visit for a guide on teen depression. The information is sourced from page 1 and has an ID number of 304881, titled "Teen Depression". The source was last accessed on May 28, 2008.

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