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Frequent physical complaints such as headaches or stomachaches Low energy level, fatigue, poor concentration, boredom Dramatic change in eating or sleeping patterns, such as overeating or oversleeping 227 Lesson 1 Mental Disorders Approximately 19 million Americans are affected by clinical depression each year. Depression often runs in families and can be biologically based, but it can also be caused by life events. Sometimes it may be a symptom of substance abuse or addiction, because alcohol and other drugs can affect brain chemistry. BIPOLAR DISORDER This disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is marked by extreme mood changes, energy levels, and behavior. Characteristics of the manic “highs” and depressive “lows” of this disorder are described in Figure 9.1. Although adults with bipolar disorder may behave normally between episodes of extreme emo- tion, teens with the disorder tend to alternate rapidly between the two extremes with few clear periods of wellness between episodes. Eating Disorders Psychological pressures, possible genetic factors, and an obses- sion with body image and thinness can lead to an eating disorder. People with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia suffer from life-threatening disturbances in eating behavior. Eating disor- ders are not a failure of will or behavior; they are real, treatable medical illnesses. A person who suffers from an eating disorder can experience a wide range of physical health complications, includ- ing serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. It is therefore critical that a person with an eating disorder get help immediately. TOPIC Depression Go to health.glencoe.com and click on Health Updates to learn more about teens and depression. ACTIVITY Using the infor- mation you find at the site, write a short paragraph on the most recent research on depression in teens. eating disorders For more information about eating dis- orders, see Chapter 6, page 153. health.glencoe.com HS_HEALTH_U03_C9_L1 12/6/03 9:09 AM Page 227
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Conduct Disorders Children and adolescents who act out their impulses toward oth- ers in destructive ways may have a a pattern of behavior in which the rights of others or basic social rules are violated. Examples include lying, theft, aggression, violence, truancy, arson, and vandalism. The condition is more common among males than females. Although they may project an image of toughness, people with this disorder usually have low self-esteem. They may also have symptoms of other mental disorders including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Without treatment, many teens with this dis- order will be unable to adapt to the demands of adulthood and will continue to have problems relating to others, holding a job, and behaving in appropriate ways.
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