Depression and suicide are two problems that everyone is faced with at one time in their lives. There are few people that do not personally know someone who has committed suicide, or at least know some famous figure that has taken their life. There are also very few individuals that have not dealt with some form of depression in their own life, whether it be a simple feeling of sadness or actual clinical depression. .
Depression is common in adolescence (Wichstrom 232). The stress and anxiety of puberty can trigger depression (Marx, et al. 78). After puberty, girls are more likely to be depressed than boys. This is partly due to differences in the maturation process. Girls have increased developmental challenges, such as dissatisfaction with weight, attainment of a mature female body, and increased pressure of having to be sexual (Wichstrom 232). Boys are more likely to be depressed before puberty. Puberty is a process in boys that is not as traumatic in girls. Late maturing boys show more frequent depression than early maturing boys (Wichstrom 233).
Early maturing girls are at high risk for depression (Wichstrom 233). They are experiencing puberty and dramatic changes in their bodies at an early age, and many do not understand and are not prepared for such changes to take place. This can be very traumatic, and can lead to depression. In contrast, late maturing girls show a lower probability of depression (Wichstrom 233). They are generally more prepared for the process of puberty, and they are more mature when this takes place because they are older and have been seeing it happen in their peers. .
Late maturing boys have a higher chance of becoming depressed than early maturing boys (Wichstrom 233). Puberty is often seen as a positive process among males, almost like a rite of passage into manhood. Early maturing boys gain a higher status than late maturing boys, and hassle boys who do not enter puberty until later for not being physically as capable (Wichstrom 233).