The Facts About Teenage Depression – And How To Recognise The Symptoms

When the word “depression” is mentioned most people associate it with the adult population, a mental health disorder that older men and women suffer from. However this is not the case as the medical research and statistics now show, a growing numbers of teenagers and even younger children are now suffering from this disorder, often without their parents or guardians even knowing about it or suspecting that anything is wrong.

 

Here are some shocking statistics :

 

  • Around 6% of teenagers are suffering with depression, that’s 6 youngsters out of every one hundred

 

  • Suicide, caused by depression is at number four in the leading causes of death among 10 – 14 year olds

 

  • Suicide, caused by depression is the third leading cause of death in teenagers and young people in the 15 – 24 year old group

 

Research shows that in the past three decades the suicide rate by teenagers has risen by over 300%. A survey of High School students revealed that almost 60% of them had thought about harming or killing themselves and that just under 10% had actually attempted suicide because of feeling so depressed.

While it is normal for a teenager to have “down” days and that nobody feels on top of the world all the time there are some signs to look out for which may signify a more serious condition. If you recognise some of the following signs or symptoms on a daily basis over a prolonged period of time then it should be taken seriously and the help of your family doctor should be sought.

 

  • Lethargy – always weary with no energy

 

  • Moodiness

 

  • Overeating or not eating regular meals

 

  • Feeling dejected

 

  • Withdrawing from friends or family

 

  • Helplessness

 

  • Inactivity – when they were always an active person in sport and other out of school activities

 

  • Constant worry

 

There are various treatments for depression in teenagers and younger children. Your doctor will be the best person to decide on the correct course of treatment or he/she may refer you to a specialist in the care of teenagers with depressive disorders. You may be offered therapy in the form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy or an anti-depressant medication, quite often a combination of both therapy and medication is used. It is important to catch this disorder as early as possible as the sooner treatment commences the better chance of a full recovery, in severe cases of clinical depression medication may need to be taken on a long term basis.

 

© Andrew Tudor Jones