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Teen Depression: Stop it While You Can 

By Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist

Teen Depression: An Overview

teen depressionTeen depression is a very real problem, with many experts estimating the general rate of adolescent depression to be somewhere between 3 % and 8 %. Teen depression is also estimated to be 6 times more likely when an adolescentís parents are depressed. Because many parents, friends and teachers stereotype adolescence as a time of irritable moodiness, we frequently miss the signs of teen depression. Many instances of teen depression lead to suicide attempts, with current estimates being that each year approximately 500,000 adolescents and young adults, between the ages 15 to 25 attempt suicide. Unfortunately, approximately 5,000 young adults succeed, with suicide being the third leading cause of death among young adults between the ages 15 to 25.

Teen depression signs and symptoms:

Because most teenagers do not seek treatment on their own, parents, teachers, school counselors and coaches, have to recognize the symptoms of teen depression and possible suicide. Without treatment, depression may last for weeks, months, years or an entire lifetime, and may impact on every aspect of an individualsí functioning, as well as resulting in them ending their lives. Some of the main warning signs that your child or adolescent may be struggling with teen depression include:

 

  • frequent complaints of physical ailments (headaches, stomachache)
  • sudden drop in school performance
  • lack of interest in play or normal activities
  • excessive concern with failure
  • frequent irritability, crying
  • lack of social interaction
  • boredom
  • attempts to run away from home
  • reckless behavior

Help is available for teen depression:

Psychotherapy and medications seem to be just as helpful with adolescents as they are for adults. A study published in the December 2001 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, divided half of the children whose parents were depressed into a group that received 15, 1-hour group sessions with a trained psychotherapist. The other half were not provided services by a trained mental health clinician. Over the next year, 29 % of those in the control group (without the therapist) became depressed, compared to only 9 % of the children who were in the group therapy program. Group members were taught to deal with unrealistic negative thoughts and beliefs, which are techniques currently utilized by cognitive-behavioral therapists. These interventions help to illustrate the importance of preventing or delaying depression in adolescence, and helps to emphasize the fact that most depressed and suicidal teens respond positively to psychotherapy and medication. Some estimates conclude that as many as 90 % of depressed adolescents and adults, seem to respond to intervention by a trained mental health professional.

 

Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist

 

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Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: Alphabetical Order and Depression Medications:

Celexa 

Effexor

 Elavil

Lexapro

Luvox

Paxil

Pristiq

Prozac

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Wellbutrin 

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