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Teenage depression is a growing problem in today's society and is often a major contributing factor for a
multitude of adolescent problems. The statistics about teenage runaways, alcoholism, drug problems,
pregnancy, eating disorders, and suicide are alarming. Even more startling are the individual stories behind
these statistics because the young people involved come from all communities, all economic levels, all
home situations-anyone's family. The common link is often depression. For the individuals experiencing
this crisis, the statistics become relatively meaningless. The difficult passage into adolescence and early
adulthood can leave lasting scars on the lives and psyches of an entire generation of young men and
women. There is growing realization that teenage depression can be life- changing, even life-threatening.
Depression is a murky pool of feelings and actions scientists have been trying to understand since
the days of Hippocrates, who called it a "black bile." It has been called "the common cold of mental illness
and, like the cold, it's difficult to quantify." (Arbetter 1) If feelings of great sadness or agitation last for
much more than two weeks, it may be depression. For a long time, people who were feeling depressed
were told to "snap out of it." According to a study done by National Institute of Mental Health, half of all
Americans still view depression as a personal weakness or character ...