Teens and Adolescents Sleeplessness may Follow Depression

Teens and Adolescents Sleeplessness may Follow Depression

It is unfortunate that depression has brought such a spirited mind to its end. Depression is dangerous if left unattended. You couldn't help feeling let down as you ware battling against such tremendous odds. Insomnia can cause you to have anxiety and depression, and depression and anxiety can cause you to have insomnia. It’s a chicken-and-egg type of story. But research has shown that if one of the conditions is left untreated it can exacerbate the other condition.


In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) created oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), defining it as "a pattern of negativistic, hostile and defiant behavior." The official symptoms of ODD include "often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules" and "often argues with adults." While ODD-diagnosed young people are obnoxious with adults they don't respect, these kids can be a delight with adults they do respect; yet many of them are medicated with psychotropic drugs.

"The average American adolescent is sleep-deprived," said psychologist David Walsh, who explores the effects of teens' sleeplessness in his book "WHY Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen". Sleepiness is closely tied to the brain's release of a hormone called melatonin. Numerous sleep studies have found that during puberty, the brain naturally begins to release melatonin later than it does during childhood or adulthood.
All point to research that's found teens are chronically tired -- putting them at risk for depression, poor school performance and even car accidents.

They're workers, wives, mothers and caregivers to elderly parents--all of which add up to stress and anxiety that don't stop when the lights go out. Long-term sleeplessness takes a toll. "With lack of sleep, you're more likely to have a lower mood, less energy, more irritability," says sleep expert Eve Van Cauter, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Women who are sleep-deprived are also at risk for depression, heart disease, even obesity. Researchers have found that lack of sleep disrupts the production of hormones that regulate feelings of hunger and satiety. Recent studies show that women (and men) who get less sleep are fatter.

Chronic insomnia is costing adolescents more than sleep and “twofold to fivefold” increase in personal problems among adolescents with persistent sleeplessness. It’s been linked to a wide range of physical, psychological and interpersonal problems, according to public health researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The highest occurrence of depression is at during young adulthood or middle age between the ages of 25 and 44. Stressful life events (such as the death of a loved one), particularly if the event occurs at a young age.

Worse, long-term stress can develop into depression, particularly in those who are vulnerable. "Being in a lot of debt can feel overwhelming to people and wreak havoc on self-esteem," explains Olivia Mellan, a money coach and psychotherapist in Washington, D.C. The more serious consequence of untreated depression can be substance abuse (self-medication) and the risk of suicide.

Sometimes it is difficult to determine between depression and the other kinds of problems teens experience such as drug abuse, delinquency, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Depression is not a clear-cut or simple problem to diagnose. Sometimes admitting depression and getting help is the difficult step, because some feel there is shame or stigma attached to it. Others fear it will cost too much to get help.

Depression during the perinatal period can have devastating consequences, not only for the women experiencing it but also for the women’s children and family. It’s a disease that affects more than just the new mother. Every woman has a risk of postpartum depression during the first several months after childbirth, miscarriage or stillbirth. Symptoms of postpartum depression include extreme fatigue, loss of pleasure in daily life, sleeplessness, sadness, tearfulness, anxiety, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, irritability, appetite change and poor concentration.

Ecstasy is most popular among teens and young adults seeking enough stamina and desire to party all night long. They could start by remembering these words: “A parent’s not supposed to survive their children. It’s not the scheme of things.” In 2006 Las Vegas metro police seized about 24,000 Ecstasy pills. In 2007 they seized about 225,000 pills — an indication of the drug’s growing popularity. Ecstasy stimulates its users for short periods and can also cause mild hallucinations. The worst-case scenario is a user’s experiencing heat stroke or organ failure leading to death. Side effects can include anxiety, paranoia, depression, sleeplessness, restlessness, nausea, skin damage and addiction.

Vicki Van Meter, a young only 26 years old pilot renowned for making cross-country and trans-Atlantic flights as a sixth grader, shot herself. She was battling with the pain, disability and hopelessness and developed symptoms of depression - restlessness, sleeplessness, despondency, irritation and a feeling of physical and mental exhaustion. Sometimes suffering from depression might be due to drop out of school in their exam and appeared never to sleep; even being awakened around 4am by loud banging. Mental anguish, pain, fear, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and other difficulties and injuries may occur.

A long-term study of almost 600 young adults found that those with annual one-month periods of insomnia found the incidents of sleeplessness gradually increased over two decades, especially among women. In 40 percent of subjects, insomnia developed into more chronic forms over time, according to findings published recently in the issue of Sleep.

Insomnia lasting two weeks or longer predicted major depressive episodes and disorders, according to the report. Seventeen percent to 50 percent of subjects with insomnia lasting two weeks or longer later developed a major depressive episode.

"The results show that insomnia seems to be followed by depression more consistently than the other way around. In addition, we found that insomnia tended to be a chronic problem that gets more persistent over time, whereas depression was a more intermittent problem," study author Dr. Daniel J. Buysse, of the University of Pittsburgh, said in a prepared statement.

The study, conducted by Dr. Jules Angst, of Zurich University Psychiatric Hospital in Switzerland, focused on 591 young adults who are psychiatric, physical and sleep symptoms were assessed with six interviews spanning 20 years.

"We used to think that insomnia was most often just a symptom of depression. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that insomnia is not just a symptom of depression, but that it may actually precede depression. In other words, people who have insomnia but no depression are at increased risk for later developing depression," Buysee said.

Insomnia, the most common of all sleep disorders, is when a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. About 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine analyzed over middle-school and high-school students found that students with lower grade point averages (GPA) were more likely to have: restless, aching legs when they were trying to fall asleep; difficulty concentrating during the day; snoring every night; difficulty waking up in the morning; daytime sleepiness; and problems with falling asleep in class.

Then the depression would come. You would look back on her manic behavior, not recognizing yourself, and be filled with remorse. That was when you would try to kill herself. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced is irresistible. Then comes the full-blown high when you are psychotic. You become "irritable, frightened, angry, uncontrollable and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality." Then follows the deep depression, the overdose, and the horrifying reminders of the extraordinary things you did when you were manic.

If a medical exam rules out a physical disorder, women often get more rest when they improve what doctors call "sleep hygiene." Basically, that covers everything involved in the process of getting to bed. "A huge amount of insomnia is induced by behaviors that can be quickly fixed," says Dr. Jean Matheson, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

A research study by Ohio State University highlights the need to take into account that many patients who see their doctors with complaints of insomnia also have a psychiatric condition. But the presence of those mental conditions should not preclude them from being appropriately treated for their insomnia.

Mike Linnell, 47, from the charity Lifeline Project, which has run a support service for young substance abusers in Manchester for two years, said: "We run eight different young person's services in the country and two years ago we didn't run any. Around 70% of the young people who we treat come to us through the criminal justice service. Alcohol, not cannabis, remains the most commonly abused drug among young people. Oldham Alcohol Substance Intervention Service (Oasis) said children were trying out drugs at a younger age.

According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh; published in the January 1st issue of the journal SLEEP, sleep-disturbed children are more severely depressed and have more depressive symptoms and comorbid anxiety disorders compared with children without sleep disturbance. Furthermore, the study found that across sleep-disturbed children, those with both insomnia and hypersomnia had a longer history of illness, were more severely depressed and were more likely to have anhedonia, weight loss, psychomotor retardation and fatigue than those with either insomnia or hypersomnia.

References:

www.lasvegassun.com/

www.associatedcontent.com

www.chinapost.com.tw/

www.guardian.co.uk/

www.accessmylibrary.com

www.bbc.co.uk

www.osu.edu/

www.aasmnet.org/

www.unc.edu/

www.sleepfoundation.org

www.azcentral.com

www.thirdway.com

www.alternet.org

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