Teen Depression

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Teen depression facts

  • Depression that extends beyond sadness to the point of illness is that which interferes with the sufferer's ability to function in some way.
  • Depression affects about 20% of adolescents by the time they reach adulthood.
  • Depression in teens does not have one single definitive cause, rather a number of biological, psychological, and environmental risk factors that contribute to its development.
  • General symptoms of depression regardless of age include having a depressed or irritable mood for at least two weeks and having at least five clinical signs and symptoms.
  • Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth 10-24 years of age.
  • In order to determine the diagnosis of depression, a health care professional will likely conduct or refer for an extensive medical interview and physical examination and ask standard mental-health questions.
  • Treatment for teen depression may include addressing any medical conditions that cause or worsen the condition. It can also include lifestyle adjustments, psychotherapy, and medication for moderate to severe depression.
  • Interpersonal therapy (ITP) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are the two major approaches commonly used to treat teen depression.
  • About one-half of teens who take antidepressant medications get better. It may take anywhere from one to six weeks of taking medication at its effective dose to start feeling better.
  • Teen depression is a risk factor for developing a number of other mental-health symptoms and disorders.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States in people over the age of five years.
  • Attempts at prevention of teen depression tend to address both specific and nonspecific risk factors, strengthen protective factors, and use an approach that is appropriate for the teen's developmental level.
  • Family members and friends are advised to seek and encourage the depressed teen to receive mental-health evaluation and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2013

Teen Suicide Warning Signs

Recognizing teen suicide warning signs

Suicideis alarmingly common. It is the eighth leading cause of deathfor 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 psychiatricdisorders, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and others. Unsuccessful suicide attempts also are common and outnumber actual suicides.