Teen Depression

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Understanding Depression Slideshow

Teen Suicide Warning Signs

Recognizing teen suicide warning signs

Suicide is alarmingly common. It is the eighth leading cause of death for all people (accounting for about 1% of all deaths) and the third leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24 (following accidents and homicide). The vast majority of suicides are related to emotional or psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and others. Unsuccessful suicide attempts also are common and outnumber actual suicides.

Quick GuideTeen Drug Abuse Pictures Slideshow: Statistics, Facts and Symptoms

Teen Drug Abuse Pictures Slideshow: Statistics, Facts and Symptoms

Teen depression facts

  • Depression that extends beyond sadness to the point of illness is that which interferes with the sufferer's ability to function.
  • Depression affects about 20% of adolescents by the time they become adults.
  • Depression in teens does not have one single definitive cause but rather several psychological, biological, and environmental risk factors.
  • General depression symptoms include having an irritable or depressed mood for more than two weeks and having at least five clinical symptoms and signs.
  • Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth 10-24 years of age in the U.S.
  • In order to determine the diagnosis of depression, a health-care professional may run routine lab test, conduct a medical interview and physical examination, and ask standard mental-health questions.
  • Treatment for teen depression may include lifestyle adjustments, psychotherapy, and medication for moderate to severe depression.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are the two major approaches commonly used to treat teen depression.
  • About one-half of teens who take antidepressants improve. It may take up to six weeks of taking medication to start feeling better.
  • Teen depression is a risk factor for developing a number of other mental-health symptoms and disorders.
  • In the U.S., depression is the leading cause of disability for people over 5 years of age.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2015

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