Vaginal Bloody Discharge In An Adult Female Sample College Essay

Chief Complaint

“I have bloody discharge and pain.”

HPICC

A 43-year-old female with a past medical history of Chlamydia infection comes to visit for bloody vaginal discharge from the last six months. The vaginal discharge is dark red and has a smell. She decided to visit the Doctor because she started having painful intercourse three weeks ago. She started taking ginger tea three times a day recommended by a neighbor, but the beading discharge now is worse.

Medications

Medications: None

Herbals: Ginger tea daily starting two weeks ago.

PMH

Allergies: The patient does not suffer from any environmental, food, or drugs allergies

Medication Intolerances: NKDA

Chronic Illnesses/ Major trauma: None

Chlamydia treated ten years ago

LMP two weeks ago G3 P3. The patient denies having major traumas.

PAP SMEAR 2010 Normal

Family History

Father died of stomach cancer at 45. Negative for hypertension, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, other medical illnesses.

Mother negative for diabetes, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, tuberculosis, other medical illnesses

Social History

The patient is an immigrant from central Africa. She took a basic test to enter the USA two years ago. Socially not active, she stays at home all day and only goes to the supermarket and church every week. She is living with her husband’s parents and her two children, aged 14 and 12. She does not drink alcohol and does not smoke or use any drugs. She does not visit doctors. No pap smear. She is sexually active.

ROS

General

The patient is feeling poor energy without strength. She lost some weight 8 to 10 pounds in the last six months, fever, and night sweats. She lost her appetite. Denied fever, headache, or dizziness.

Skin

No rash, lesions bruising.

Eyes

The patient denies blurring, visual changes

Gastrointestinal

Abdominal distention and lost appetite too much. No abdominal pain, diarrhea reflux.

Ears

No ear pain, ringing in ears, etc. There are no reports of ear traumas or hearing loss.

Nose/Mouth/Throat

Denies any sore throat, oral cavity’s complaints.

Breast

Denies feeling lumps, bumps, or changes.

Heme /Lymph/Endo

She denies having a transfusion, extreme sweating, changes in her appetite, lumps bleeding, or equipoises. Intermittent vaginal bleeding for six months.

Cardiovascular

She denies chest pain, edema, orthopnea, palpitations.

Respiratory

She has shortness of breath when walking fast, no cough, congestion, wheezing, hemoptysis, or dyspnea.

Genitourinary / Gynecological

Mild discomfort in her pelvic area that is worse when doing sexual intercourse. She found this two weeks ago sharp pressure above the pubis when doing sexual intercourse.

History of STD 10 years ago.

Musculoskeletal

No joint pain, muscular pain, or weakness.

Neurological

Denies spontaneous episodes of weakness, memory loss.

Psychiatric

The patient did not report having depression, sleeping disorder, suicidal attempts.

Objective

Weight: 151lbs.

BMI: 28.5.

Temp: 97.1F tympanic

BP: 124/70 right arm, sitting.

Height: 5’1”

Pulse:90 x min

Resp:16 x min.

Oxy Sat 99%

General Appearance

Female. Not in distress, cooperative but shy, answers willingly and appropriately.

Skin

The patient’s skin is warm, dark, clean. No petechiae ecchymosis or moles were found.

HEENT

Head is norm-cephalic, is symmetric, no lesions found. Her hair is distributed in accordance with her sex and age. No tenderness

Eyes show no abnormal signs. Pupils are equal, round, and reactive to light and accommodation. Extraocular movements are intact. The sclera is clear.

Ears: Symmetric, normal hearing tympanic positive light reflex.

Nose: No visible septum deviation, fine and pink mucosa, no polyps.

Neck: Symmetric, no nodes, no thyromegaly.

No gingival edema or blleding.

Cardiovascular

No extra sounds are discovered during the patient’s investigation. The rate and rhythm are regular. Capillary refill – 1.7 seconds. There is no edema.

Respiratory

The patient’s chest wall is symmetric expansion. She demonstrates regular respirations. There are no problems with breathing.

Gastrointestinal

The patient’s abdomen is obese, with some striae soft. Bowel sound present. No epigastric tenderness to deep palpation. No mases. Active in all quadrants.

Breast

Symmetric breast no masses no edema or erythema.

Genitourinary

External exam: Vulva inspection with no edema, pubic hair normal for age and sex. The speculum found vaginal walls cover with blood and mucus os closed, cervical bleeding mass extending to the uterine body at 10, tender to palpation. A biopsy was taken. Suprapubic tenderness when performing bimanual palpation. The rectal exam demonstrates the pain, masses, and uterine mass, with no signs of trauma. No bleeding signs were found. A urine sample was taken for in site exam.

Musculoskeletal

Full range of motion, locomotor apparatus is fine. Muscular strength 5/5 four limbs.

Neurological

Speech is clear, responds to all answers in an appropriate way. Demonstrates an appropriate level of cognitive activity. DTR patellar reflexes are intact 2/2 patellar. Balance is stable.

Psychiatric

The patient does not keep eye contact. Speech is clear. Understands all questions. No visible signs of mental disorders. The family history also does not contain any records of this sort.

Lab Tests

Several lab tests are needed to reveal what is wrong with the patient. First of all, a range of general tests should be conducted when a client is admitted to a hospital. Mainly, they deal with the analysis of blood and urine.

The most commonly conducted test is a complete blood count. It provides an opportunity to discuss the patient’s state of health and can reveal the presence of health issues, such as infection.

In addition to that, urinalysis allows medical staff to identify various signs of poor health. For example, it shows the presence of different infections, disorders, and liver problems (“Urinalysis,” 2016).

When these tests are done, additional specific lab tests are needed. They should be focused on the patient’s condition and her chief complaint.

Special Tests

In this case, lab tests should be connected with bloody discharge and pain. In particular, all of them should be able to identify health issues that may cause these problems.

  • Pregnancy test. Rather often, issues associated with pregnancy have the same symptoms as those mentioned by the patient. This test will provide a doctor with an opportunity to refute or prove the diagnosis.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound. It allows identifying abnormalities that cause discomfort in the pelvic area and bleeding.
  • Sonohysterogram. Ultrasound can be used to check if the mentioned symptoms are caused by uterine polyps or fibroids (Healthwise, 2015).
  • Biopsy. It may be needed to check the condition and functioning of the endometrium. Moreover, it can be used for the identification of abnormal cervical cells.
  • Visual examination. It allows looking inside the bladder and finding out issues.
  • Pap test. It will provide an opportunity to identify abnormalities in the cervix. A doctor will scrape cells and examine them to detect those that show changes (Stoppler & Shiel, 2017). They can reveal the presence of cancer or the risk of it.
  • Imaging tests. They can be needed if cervical cancer is identified in order to determine what organs are also affected. Thus, a particular stage can be revealed. For this purpose, a doctor may use x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging, etc.

Assessment Findings and Plan

Differential Diagnoses

Chlamydia

This disease is sexually transmitted and can be present in the patient as she is sexually active. The patient has already suffered from this disease that is why she might be likely to face it again. Her symptoms are associated with this health issue, as she experiences vaginal bleeding, and her discharge is painful (Johnson, 2015). Moreover, she reports discomfort in the pelvic area that worsens when having sex.

Ectopic pregnancy

It is already known, the patient is sexually active. Regardless of the use of contraceptives, there is a possibility of her being pregnant. Of course, in a normal situation mentioned, adverse symptoms would not be faced. But if she has an ectopic pregnancy, her condition can be explained by this diagnosis (Johnson, 2017). The patient experiences pain and vaginal bleeding.

Cervical cancer

This diagnosis aligned with all patient’s symptoms, such as bleeding, pain, discomfort during intercourse, and problems with discharge. In addition to that, her father had cancer which increases her chances of having this problem. This conclusion can be made only after the results of a Pap test are received (abnormal cells are found) (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). Being supported by a biopsy, cervical cancer is likely to be the final diagnosis for the patient.

Treatment Plan and Follow Up

Treatment of cervical cancer will be presented in several ways. First of all, the patient will receive a recommendation to have surgery, during which affected tissues will be removed, including pelvic lymph nodes and uterus. There might be a necessity to remove ovaries and fallopian tubes as well. Further, chemotherapy will be provided and/or radiation therapy (Stoppler & Shiel, 2017).

When the remission is achieved, follow-up appointments and tests are to be planed. Every few months, the patient should be checked for any associated problems and complications (“Cervical cancer: Follow up,” 2017). In this way, attention should be paid not only to the healing process but also to the possibility of the re-occurrence of cancer.

Self-Assessment

The patient should be encouraged to conduct self-assessment in order to ensure that she is in good condition after the treatment. Moreover, such practices will provide her with an opportunity to receive timely healthcare assistance if it is needed. In this framework, it is vital to educate her on the sexually-transmitted diseases, their causes, and symptoms to minimalize future risks. The peculiarities of her condition should also be discussed, including all possible symptoms of cervical cancer. Enormous attention should be paid to the procedure of self-assessment, which presupposes the comparison of a healthy condition with a problematic one. Healthcare professionals should identify those tools that may be needed during the cervical examination, such as a mirror and flashlight. The necessity to obtain the speculum should also be discussed, but it requires additional education regarding its usage. The patient should get to know how to sit to prevent injuries and discomfort during self-assessment. She should pay attention to the color of her cervix and its structure. The amount and consistency of discharge should also be compared with normal. Moreover, its odor should be considered. Finally, any discomfort and pain should be mentioned and reported to healthcare professionals.

References

Cervical cancer: Follow up. (2017). Web.

Healthwise. (2015). Abnormal uterine bleeding. Web.

Johnson, T. (2015). Chlamydia. Web.

Johnson, T. (2017). What to know about ectopic pregnancy. Web.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Cervical cancer. Web.

Stoppler, M., & Shiel, W. (2017). Cervical cancer. Web.

Urinalysis. (2016). Web.

Problems That City Causes For People And Environment

Introduction

Though most of the people prefer to live in the cities, there are many problems associated with life in the cities. Although these problems vary from one city to another, nonetheless, most of them are common and are detrimental to the lives of the people living in such cities. Mostly, these problems are caused by the people themselves but a certain extent, the government or the city council is to blame for the persistence of these problems. The influx of people in the cities could be more than what the city can contain. If the city cannot contain these people, then many things might go amiss.

What are these problems then that the problems that the city causes for people and the environment.

When an environment is affected, men are also directly affected because they entirely depend on environment for survival. For purposes of the research paper at hand, an environment can be defined as all what is around human beings or all what surrounds human beings. Man interacts with the environment daily. He therefore affects and is affected by the environment daily. Most of the times man affects the environment and then the environments hits back at him. City environmental problems may include the health problems that may culminate from lack of enough sanitation and clean household water (4). It may also include indoor pollution.

This category can be referred to as localized health problems. Others include poor waste management, river, lakes and coastal area pollution, air pollution.

These are in the category of regional city environmental problems. The other category is extra urban problems culminating from urban or city activities. These may include emissions of green house gasses and ecological destruction. We can also include in the list the emission of acid gases and depletion of resources within the city suburbs. These problems shall be discussed in depth in the following paragraphs.

Air pollution in the city

Air pollution in the city has the most dangerous effect on the inhabitants of such a city and the environment as well. Since most of the industries are located in the cities, there are a lot of industrial gas emissions within the city. People breathe in these gases and they cause a lot of problems to their lives. When inhaled, these gases when inhaled may cause lung cancer and other related respiratory diseases. Air pollution may also be caused by congestion of people in the city. People breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide (1). Due to congestion, there is competition for fresh air and excessive exhalation of carbon dioxide. This may also cause respiratory diseases. Motor cars are also many in the city and they emit carbon monoxide to the environment. These gases are very dangerous and are causing a lot of diseases to people.

America for instance is living under the danger of smog that is killing many people due to respiratory diseases. Smog is formed when mist in the air come in to contact with smoke. This is not avoidable where there are industries emitting gases to the environment daily. There is also indoor air pollution caused by cooking fires. Most of the stoves that people use for cooking in the house emit dangerous gases (6). Since most of the city rooms are very congested, these gases accumulate within residential buildings and the inhabitants inhales them. Air pollution may also be caused by the smoke from garbage burning especially where there is no regular garbage collection. People opt to burn garbage for lack of another mean of disposal.

Global warming and its effects

There has been a constant fluctuation of the global climate throughout time. Climate has changed from the ice age to the long periods of warmth that are currently being experienced in a majority of the world cities. The earth’s temperatures have been rising over time and the globe is getting warmer by the day, a condition referred to as global warming.

Man has for long depended on fossil fuels as a source of energy. Such fossil fuels as coal and oil produce green house gasses when burnt. The most common one being carbon dioxide. When these gasses are emitted in to the atmosphere, they block heat from the earth’s surface from escaping into the space. The atmosphere is heated from the ground as the sun rays hit the ground and are reflected into the atmosphere. This heat naturally escapes into the space. When this heat is trapped into the atmosphere, global warming happens. The situation worsens when man’s activities destroy forests (1). Trees are useful in the recycling of carbon dioxide into oxygen. With the increasing deforestation, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also increases and this increases global warming. The effects of global warming are many and detrimental to human lives. For instance, it affects the distribution of plants and animals. This is because different animals and plants are best adapted to different kinds of weathers. Due to global warming, the lives of animals and plants have been affected. Animals move from one place to another to look for a weather they are adapted to. Other species have become extinct. The distribution of plants has also changed due to change of weather. The blooming pattern of plants and flowers has also been affected. For example, some varieties of plants now bloom earlier than was the case previously.

The growing seasons for plants have also become lengthy. Food stuffs take long to grow than before. All these effects affect human beings.

Light pollution

Light pollution happens where there is excess light at night. Research has shown that light pollution is one of the causes of breast cancer to women. This is rarely noticed. There are so many cases of women contracting breast cancer in urban areas. The cases are very minimal in the rural areas. Most of there cases have traces of origin in light pollution.

Noise pollution

This happens when there is excess noise in the environment. For instance, in the airport there is usually excess noise. Excess noise may cause serious problems like coronary heart diseases or hearing loss. Other diseases may include stroke and high blood pressure. Some industry may also cause noise pollution. Excess hooting by motor vehicles also cause noise pollution.

The other effects of noise pollution include effect on human health. Noise pollution can cause several health problems like deafness, heart diseases, ulcers, and heart burn, amongst a host of other problems. The other effect of noise is speech interruption and interference. Communication becomes hard when there is a lot of noise. One is unable to deliver the message effectively. Noise also makes one’s listening skills less effective and will therefore not be able to listen effectively. There is also sleep interference where noise wakes people from their sleep. This makes them unable to sleep well and very tired the next day and consequently, their productivity declines. Noise also affects one’s work performance because it affects their concentration and accuracy. This reduces their performance at work.

Cross border pollution

This is the spillover of pollution of one country to another. In this case a neighboring country may also be affected by pollution in another country. To a large extent, it is extremely difficult to control air pollution from reaching the neighboring countries. At the moment, this is a very big issue around the globe. Individuals of a different country suffer from the effects of pollution caused by another country.

Soil or land pollution

This is yet another sensitive form of pollution. When there is a lot of garbage on the land, the soil will be polluted. This also happens when industrial wastes are thrown into the soil. When the soil is polluted with toxic substances, it can cause a lot of diseases to human beings. For example, when food comes into contact with the soil, there is the likelihood of transmitting toxic substances from the soil into the food. Once consumed, the food could cause serious health complications to individuals. Soil pollution also affects the agricultural production. For example, some soil pollutants are very toxic and they affect the lives of plants. With the increased soil pollution, the level of agricultural production has decreased drastically. The soil is no longer productive. The soil has become very acidic with the increased use of fertilizers Land pollution should be distinguished from soil pollution. There is the need to distinguish between land pollution and soil pollution. In this case, land pollution is a term used in reference to the pollution of the surface of the planet. Land pollution is caused by a number of human activities. To start with, urbanization is a leading cause of land pollution. There has been an increase in the rate of urbanization across the globe in recent years.

Consequently, forest land has been used for construction. Increased construction has caused high destruction to forests and loss of forest land due to high demand for timber. There has also been an increase in demand for water and as a result, dams and reservoirs are built leading to loss of forest land. With the growth rate of the population around the world on the increase, there is has been a corresponding increase in demand for food and hence agricultural land. More land for agriculture is needed, leading to the clearing of forest cover to make room for this activity. There is also a high demand for dumping sites. This means that more and more land is being wasted as dumping site. This is yet another form of land pollution.

Most of the agricultural activities greatly contributed to land pollution. For instance, such agricultural chemicals as pesticides and fungicides pollute the land when they are washed in to the land (1). There are also industrial activities that pollute the land like open cast mining. This form of mining leave the land with huge holes dug on the ground and also huge heaps of mining waste. Some of these mining wastes contain poisonous substances. These substances also pollute the soil. Mostly, the sources of land and soil pollution are metal production factories, chemical plants, and nuclear waste and disposal activity, among others.

The effects of land pollution include destruction of vegetation, acid rain formation which may kill plants and crops. Pesticides can also kill crops and vegetation and even animals. Especially the pesticides used to kill weed and insects.

Water pollution

Water pollution occurs when the water is contaminated by for example, toxic substances that are thrown into the water bodies. In the cities, water is said to be polluted or contaminated when it comes into contact with sewage, industrial wastes or any other contaminant that are thrown in to the water bodies. Water used in the cities is likely to be contaminated when the water pipes come into contact with sewage pipes. If the pipes are leaking, then there is the possibility of sewage getting into water. This is a very dangerous situation because it is hardly noticed. Due to congestion in the cities, water lines and the sewage lines are often closely laid, further increasing the chance of cross contamination. Most of the garbage and industrial wastes in the cities are discharged into the lakes, rivers, and other water bodies. All these wastes are potential sources of pollution to water bodies in the city.

Agricultural run off or water erosion that drains soil with agricultural chemicals into the river are another source of water pollution. Effects of water pollution are many in comparison with those due to the highly polluted parts of the environment (4). This is because water is the most used resource in the environment. Due to the widespread use of water, its pollution affects all living things; plants and animals. To start with, the aquatic life is at stake when water is polluted. Livers, lake, oceans and other water bodies support the lives for many living organisms. They also support the aquatic ecosystems. When industrial wastes and other pollutants are discharged in to the water bodies, the lives of the organisms are destroyed. This is due to lack of fresh air and feeding on intoxicated food. Since aquatic ecosystems also provide food for human beings like fish, human beings are also affected when water is polluted. Some communities depend on fishing as their only economic activity. When water bodies are polluted, their source of income is also affected.

High cost of traveling

Due to congestion in the cities, there is always traffic congestion on the roads. This also causes the public vehicles to increase the charges for commuting from one place to another. This causes trouble to low income earners because they are the users of the public vehicles for they do not own cars (4). The government has increases the fuel cost in order to discourage people from buying cars. This is done in the name of reducing the traffic congestion and the effect that it causes to the environment. The health hazard caused by the city environment can be summarized as in the table below:

 

SUMMARY: Range of city-related environmental hazards by scale and type
SCALE TYPE OF HAZARD SOME SPECIFIC EXAMPLES

(This list of examples is not intended to be comprehensive)

Within house and its plot Biological pathogens Water-borne, water-washed (or water-scarce), airborne, food-borne, vector-borne, including some water-related vectors (e.g. Aides mosquitoes breeding in water containers where households lack reliable piped supplied).
Chemical pollutants Indoor air pollution from fires, stoves or heaters. Accidental poisoning from household chemicals. Occupational exposure for home workers.
Physical hazards Household accidents – burns and scalds, cuts, falls. Physical hazards from home-based economic activities. Inadequate protection from rain, extreme temperatures.
Neighborhood Biological pathogens Pathogens in waste water, solid waste (if not removed from the site), local water bodies. Disease vectors, e.g. malaria-spreading Anopheles mosquitoes breeding in standing water or filariasis-spreading Culex mosquitoes breeding in blocked drains, latrines or septic tanks.
Chemical pollutants Ambient air pollution from fires, stoves….; also perhaps from burning garbage if there is no regular garbage collection service. Air and water pollution and wastes from ‘cottage’ industries and from motor vehicles.
Physical hazards Site-related hazards, e.g. housing on slopes with risks of landslides; sites regularly flooded, sites at risk from earthquakes.
Workplace Biological pathogens Overcrowding/poor ventilation aids transmission of infectious diseases.
Chemical pollutants Toxic chemicals, dust……
Physical hazards Dangerous machinery, noise…..
City (or municipality within larger city) Biological pathogens Pathogens in the open water bodies (often from sewerage); also at municipal dumps; contaminated water in piped system.
Chemical pollutants Ambient air pollution (mostly from industry and motor vehicles; motor vehicles’ role generally growing); water pollution; hazardous wastes.
Physical hazards Traffic hazards. Violence. ‘Natural’ disasters and their ‘unnaturally large’ impact because of inadequate attention to prevention and mitigation.
Citizens’ access to land for housing Important influence on housing quality directly and indirectly (e.g. through insecure tenure discouraging households investing in improved housing, and discouraging water, electricity and other utilities from serving them).
Heat island effect and thermal inversions Raised temperatures a health risk, especially for vulnerable groups (e.g. elderly, very young). Air pollutants may become trapped, increasing their concentration and the length of people’s exposure to them.
City-region (or city periphery) Resource degradation Soil erosion from poor watershed management or land development or clearance; deforestation; water pollution; ecological damage from acid precipitation and ozone plumes; loss of biodiversity.
Land or water pollution from waste dumping Pollution of land from dumping of conventional household, industrial and commercial solid wastes and toxic/hazardous wastes. Leaching of toxic chemicals from waste dumps into water. Contaminated industrial sites. Pollution of surface water and groundwater from sewage and surface runoff.
Pre-emption or loss of resources Fresh water for city pre-empting its use for agriculture; expansion of paved area over good quality agricultural land.
Links between city and global issues Non-renewable resource use Fossil fuel use; use of other mineral resources; loss of biodiversity; loss of non-renewable resources in urban waste streams.
Non-renewable sink use Persistent chemicals in urban waste streams; greenhouse gas emissions, stratospheric ozone depleting chemicals.
Overuse of ‘finite’ renewable Resources Scale of consumption that is incompatible with global limits for soil, forests, freshwater….

SOURCE: Satterthwaite, David (1999), The Links between Poverty and the Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission (EC), New York.

From the above table, it is clear how the city activities expose people to many diseases. For instance, there are those biological pathogens that are brought up by the conditions within the house and its compound. A disease like malaria that is claiming many lives in the world today is water borne. Due to the lack of proper drainage within the city, there is a lot of stagnant water around the houses where these mosquitoes breed. Sometimes there are high heaps of garbage due to poor disposal. This is also a favorable environment for parasite breeding. These conditions have caused a lot of diseases. Malaria has become a pandemic in most part of the world. It is claiming millions of lives every year.

There are also Chemical pollutants within the house that include the indoor pollution caused by the stove fires and heaters. These greatly affect the lives of people and can cause many heats diseases. There are also physical hazards within the house that which may include burns and scalds. These also cause harm to human bodies.

Conclusion

Cities cause a lot of problems to people living within and without. The environment is also highly affected by the city activities. Most industries are located in the cities and they are the main cause of environmental problems. This is because of the waster they discharge to the environment. Governments should address the issue of environment caused by the cities because the problem is worsening by the day. Moving the industries to local areas cannot solve the problem they cause to the environment because they will cause the same problem in the rural areas. The problem that needs urgent attention is how to reduce the effects of the city activities to people and the environment. For instance the means of disposal of industrial wastes should be worked out to ensure that they do not affect the environment. The issue of cross boarder pollution should also be addressed because it can cause chaos between countries. A country cannot reduce cross boarder pollution without reducing the level of pollution within its boarders Human beings are the cause of the environmental problems that affect them. They are therefore the only people that can solve the problem of cities to the environment.

Reference

Hardoy, J, Mitlin, D & Satterthwaite, D, Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World: Finding Solutions for Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Earthcan Publications, London, 2001.

Henderson, V, ‘Urbanization in developing countries’, The World Bank Research Observer, vol. 17, no. 1, 2002, pp. 89-112.

Leitmann, J, Sustaining Cities: Environmental Planning and Management in Urban Design, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1999.

Pearce, D & Jeremy, W, World without End: Economics, Environment and Sustainable Development. Oxford University Press, New York, 1995.

Pugh, C, Sustainability: the Environment and Urbanization, London. Earths can Publications, London, 1996.

Satterthwaite, D, The Links between Poverty and the Environment In Urban Areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission (EC), New York, 1999.

Skitt, J, 1001 Terms in Solid Waste Management, international Solid Waste Association, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1999.

Teenage Depression: Causes And Symptoms

Introduction

Depression is a mental disorder that affects health, thoughts, and feelings and leads to a change of behavior. It affects one’s moods in general. Symptoms of depression may vary from individual to individual and sometimes may depend on the intensity of depression. These symptoms may include but are not limited to pessimism, loss of interest, oversleeping, lack of concentration, and sadness. There are many forms of depression. These include major depression, bipolar, and Dysthymia depressions (Bicknell, 2010)

Diagnosis of depression is done through complete psychological evaluation by a physician or psychologist. This may include a review of the history of physical health and medical conditions. The treatment of depression depends on the findings of diagnosis. In some people, psychotherapy may solve the problem but some need the use of both psychotherapy and anti-depressants.

Teenage depression

Teenage depression affects teenagers and is distinct from adult depression. It may lead to violence, homicide, drug abuse, problems both at home and in school and suicide. Teenage depression may arise from home or at school. Teenagers are faced with a lot of situations including peer pressure, the need to be recognized by others, and egocentrism. If not guided through these situations by parents, teachers, and significant others they are likely to face depression (Jaffe, 2007). Several theories attempt to examine the subject of teenage depression. These theories give the views of different sociologists on depression.

Cognitive Theory

This theory is advanced by Beck. Beck holds the idea that in depression, mood and affective symptoms are preceded by cognitive ones. He argues that negative thoughts are central to depression and not the hormonal changes as favored by other sociological theorists (Allen, 2003)

Beck argues that one’s view of self institute depression; and not depression causing one to view self negatively. For instance, research by Abela and D’Alessandro (2002) during admission of college students found out that negative attitude by students about the future strongly took control of the increase in depression mood and its interaction with dysfunctional attitudes (Allen, 2003). Teenagers are also faced with issues of the future. Their current self-perception may affect the way they view and anticipate their future.

When not guided the teenagers are likely to acquire negative attitudes toward themselves and consequently believe that their destinies are pegged on their current situation. The negative view of self by a teenager may present him or her with ideas of hopelessness and pessimism about the future, as a result, such a teenager may contemplate suicide, escape to the streets to seek consolation in drugs and alcohol. The reality may be that search teenagers might succeed in life when proper guidance and advice are offered to help them believe in themselves and their potential. The cognitive theory has turned into what is referred to as Beck’s Depression Inventory used to assess depression in several studies.

Structural functionalism

This theory is majorly associated with Parsons; however, there are other contributors like Robert Merton and Kingsley Davis. This theory centers on consensus, evolutionary changes, functions, and interdependence. It deals with society at a macro-level. The main focus is institutions and other social structures. It argues that different components of society contribute to its overall functioning. These components work in harmony and follow the pattern of interdependence. These parts are usually in equilibrium and have no major conflict. It argues that the evolutionary nature of society stimulates adjustment of its structures towards equilibrium.

Teenagers are an integral part of society. They are also players in social processes. At their age, they need a lot of guidance and cooperation. Every individual in society is concerned about pursuing his or her interest. In the process of this pursuit the individual needs this cooperation otherwise conflict may arise. When left alone the teenagers are still young and cannot make a sound decisions on their own. Most teenagers will be driven into making mistakes that land them into depression and its consequences.

There is also a need to understand the feelings and ideas of teenagers. Through this, they can be given proper advice on various issues. Refusing to listen to them is to ignore very important players in the social processes and they are likely to feel worthless in the society yet every component of the society is as important as the other and must work harmoniously with the rest of the other members to achieve socially acceptable goals. This sense of worthlessness is what exposes them to depression (Sociology 250, 1999)

Conflict theory

Karl Marx is the proponent of this theory. It argues that conflict exists between two groups in society; the proletariats and the bourgeoisie. Bourgeoisies are the owners of the means of production while the proletariats are the exploited owners of labor. Karl Marx believes that there is tension amongst people of different social statuses. The main emphasis of this theory is the use of power and coercion.

The family is a microcosm of society. It also has conflict within it. In many cases, teenagers are involved in conflict with their parents and teachers. The teen demands may conflict with what the parents expect of them. This creates tension. Since the parents are always the most powerful in the family, they reign on their teenagers. The teenagers may feel out of place and start getting stressed up hence they quickly fall into depression. If not realized early enough this may change the teen’s behavior and mood. In some cases, depressed teenagers are a result of depressed parents (Scheff, 2007).

Intimate relationships are also the potential course of depression amongst teenagers. They may not be mature enough to handle the emotional problem and breakups. They can easily mishandle the situation to the point of falling into depression. In school, teachers may give some punishment to those who fail in tests. This may make a teenager have emotional stress due to constant fear of what is associated with failure. This may affect students who naturally do not perform well in class (Scheff, 2007). Mistreatment by fellow teenagers may also cause depression. The mistreated ones feel some sense of weakness and are constantly worried about self-defense.

Symbolic interactionism

It is associated with American philosopher George Herbert Mead and German sociologist Max Weber. This theory bases its argument on the image of human beings and not society. It argues that human beings must pragmatically adjust their daily behavior to those of others. Symbolic interactionism studies society through interactions. It is then important for teenagers to get guided on the best interactions that will reinforce their positive thoughts.

Teenagers interact in groups. Sometimes they are forced to adjust their behaviors to fit into the groups. This creates tension between them and the guardians who may, in turn, mishandle them. The groups may range from drug abusers, criminal gangs, and even occults. All these are likely to create depression. Teenagers being part of the interacting members of the society are exposed to many situations that may land them into depression.

Conclusion

Depression is not a weakness but a condition that arises from a mental or psychic disorder. Depression mostly affects the moods and behavior of individuals in society. The courses may either be internally or externally originated. Teenage depression may arise from mistreatment both at home and school, low self-esteem, and getting into an intimate relationship prematurely. Teenagers need proper guidance since they have a lot of energy and may engage in activities whose results lead to depression and its consequences. Individuals should be trained on important life skills as they approach teenagers. This will reduce their chances of being depressed or getting into depressing situations (Blumer, 1969). This will also help them know how to handle depression.

Teenage depression can remain hidden for a long time since teenagers sometimes keep to themselves. It is not easy for them to open up. The danger is that the depression may be realized very late. When depression reaches an advanced stage it can cause serious injury to the mental faculty and or death.

Prevention of depression should start with guardians and teachers being close to teenagers, understanding their point of view on certain issues and instead of refusing them a chance to pursue an interest, they should be given reasons behind such a refusal. The treatment of depression should start with a physician or psychologist diagnosing the intensity of that condition (Jaffe et al, 2007.).

Patients with depression can be treated depending on their condition. There are those treated by psychotherapy yet some are taken through both psychotherapy and specialized treatment that involves the prescription of antidepressant drugs.

Depression does not only affect teenagers, adults and even children below teenagers may suffer depression. However, the prevailing environment in which one may get depressed differs. This may vary from oppressive treatments, overwhelming duties, constant fear of some dangers and uncertainties.

Reference

Allen J. Josiah. 2003. “An Overview of Beck’s Cognitive Theory of Depression in Contemporary Literature.” Rochester Institute of Technology, Web.

Blumer, Herbert. 1969. “Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method.” Kent McClelland, Web.

Insel, Thomas. 2010. “Transforming the Understanding and Treatment of Mental Illness through.” National Institute of Mental Health, Web.

Jaffe, Jaelline et al. 2007. “A Guide for Parents and Teachers” Teen Depression, Web.

Scheff, Sue. 2007. “About Teenage Depression.” Parents Universal Resource Experts, Web. 

Sociology 250. 1999. Functionalism and Parsons. Free Press, Web.

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