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Approximately two percent of teenagers suffer from major depression. This is a serious problem and should not be confused with normal teenager ups and downs. Untreated episodes can last for a year or more and can settle into a nagging depression that can last a life time. Fourty percent of affected children relapse,even without knowing, or even without their loved one knowing, within two years.

Scary results follow. After recovery children manifest significant social impairement. One in three show psychotic symptoms delusions or paranoia, and in some cases hallucinations. These teens are at risk for suicide. These teens struggle with antisocial behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, difficult interpersonal relationships.

The SAMIE survey revealed that many Blackhawk students are raised in alcoholic homes. Because of the complexities of growing up in an alcoholic environment these children and teens are depressed and fail to see the symptoms of depression. For them it is normal. They feel different, they feel they cannot quite fit in even though they may be popular, something is just not right. Having fun is often difficult, and their fun is often at the expense of others.

A constant depressed mood for several weeks plus 4-5 of the following characteristics are part of the diagnosis. Depression is a silent stalker in our school hallways and our homes. It could be the toughest lineman on the football team; it could be the quiet student next to you; it could be the loud obnoxious young person. It can last a lifetime! Help can be found. depression is treatable. Talk to your, parents, teachers, priest or minister. teachers.SYMPTOMS

1. Change in appetie or gain or loss of weight

2. Insomnia or sleeping too much

3. Agitated or slow behavior

4. Loss of interest or pleasure

5. Loss of energy, daily fatigue.

6. Feeling of worthlessness or uncommon guilt.

7. Difficulty concentrating, indecision about whatever

8. Loud, obnoxious, anti social behavior. These characteristics often mask the depression.

9. Violent outburst and lack of self control

10. Skipping school, just plain dropping out!

11. Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide


A recent perspective of western history may make one think about smoking not at all. In 1700 the English kings knew of the dangers of smoking and called these early cigarettes "coffin nails". However, these kings supported the nicotine addiction and encouraged the growth of tobacco in the new colonies. Wealth, taxes, and health has festered in tobacco since its inception in America. Slavery was needed to increase crop yield. Ironically today it is the young whites who are enslaved to nicotine in increasing numbers.

Another look of smoking in western civilization in 1700 is the Russia of Peter the Great. Prior to his time smoking tobacco could incur the death penalty. The church and czar really had their act together. However this was seldom enforced. The more frequent punishment was that smokers would have their nose slits. Peter the Great in his greatness saw the benefit of tobacco and importation taxes and opened the Russian ports to English tobacco trade. He was a habitual pipe smoker from age thirteen, He died before age fifty two. Today, Russia, along with China, faces an epidemic of young smokers.

The voices of smoking like other addictions are subtle. The voices are not the desructive angry suicidal thoughts of the rock bottom addict. These voices are quiet and people call it "thinking". They think they need a cigarette; they try to quit and they think they need a cigarette. They fail to understand they are addicts and this is simply the addict that lives within them. They no longer have control of their own minds.A young person may start because they simply want to, it may be peer pressure, rebellion, or they want to be feel "big". This is now the breeding ground for addiction. It is illegal for young person, it is thrilling, it may make you feel good, and it is done in secrecy and darkness. Your addiction,like all addictions grows in this darkness.

Many teens say they want to stop, but they cannot. This is the half truth only for now the subtle voices of nicotine begin to call lightly. One, two packs a day for a year fill a quart jar three fourths full with tar; the jar is worth $750.

HOMEPAGE                                                                                                            ENGLlISH 9