Depression is one of the most common mental health problems that hit teenagers in the United States. In fact, according to a study done by mental health institutions, about 20% of teenagers are likely to suffer from bouts of anxiety and depression before they can even reach adulthood. The alarming depression statistics among teenagers reflect how this illness has become a common problem not only among adults but among teens as well. It also goes to show that depression can strike people of all ages.
Here are some other depressing statistics that will tell you how depression is becoming a serious health issue and how much immediate attention and solution it needs.
- While a small percentage of teens suffer from seasonal depression, 5% suffer from major depression. Of this 5%, some develop other disorders, including antisocial behaviors, drug or alcohol addiction and anxiety.
- Half of the teenagers with depression inherited the illness from their parents.
- Around 30% of teenagers suffering from depression tend to develop substance abuse.
- Teens with depression that are left untreated have higher suicidal tendencies, making the condition the third leading cause of death in teens.
- About 15% of teenagers suffering from depression tend to develop a more serious mental health problem called bipolar disorder.
What will probably give a lot of people much relief is the fact that 80% of teenagers can easily get over depression if they seek help from health experts and therapists, and undergo a series of treatments and medications.
But before seeking professional help, determining the cause of depression is the very first step that must be done. Aside from genes, other factors such as social rejection, family problems, and failing grades also lead to bouts of anxieties, which eventually results in depression. Also, biological behaviors, such as drastic changes in sleep patterns and appetite; and cognitive factors, such as a negative and pessimistic mindset, all significantly contribute to depression. Once the causes are realized, it'd be easier to choose the proper treatment for the depression.
Therapies and medications are two of the usual treatments for depression. There are a number of therapies that teenagers can undergo; the most common of which are psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy. There are also antidepressant medications that are often prescribed along with these therapy sessions. SSRI's are proven to be more effective among teens than tricyclic antidepressant medications. The effects, however, are not evident until after a few weeks but will surely make teen sufferers feel less tense minutes after taking the medication. Apart from therapies and medications, there are also self-help books that teens can use. This method, however, may come a bit more challenging and may require huge motivations from teen sufferers.
During the whole process of recovering from depression, utmost support and help from parents and loved ones are what teen sufferers need. There's no better way to encourage and motivate them to start feeling good about themselves again than making them feel they are supported, loved and cared for.
To sum everything up, the alarming depression statistics among teens can very well improve in the coming years if this health issue is given enough attention and if teen sufferers receive immediate and proper treatments.