Depression has become increasingly common among American teenagers — especially teen girls, who are now almost three times as likely as teen boys to have had recent experiences with depression. One-in-five teenage girls — or nearly 2. While teenage girls are more likely to have faced depression than their male peers, they are also more likely to have received treatment by seeing a professional or taking medication. The number of adults who had experienced depression also increased from Adults who have experienced depression are treated at higher rates than teens.
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Five Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Teen Depression
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged unhappiness or irritability, accompanied by a constellation of somatic and cognitive signs and symptoms such as fatigue, apathy, sleep problems, or loss of appetite; low self-regard or worthlessness; difficulty concentrating or indecisiveness; or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Depression in childhood and adolescence is similar to adult major depressive disorder, although young sufferers may exhibit increased irritability or behavioral dyscontrol instead of the more common sad, empty, or hopeless feelings seen with adults. Childhood depression is often comorbid with mental disorders outside of other mood disorders; most commonly anxiety disorder and conduct disorder. Depression also tends to run in families. Research suggests that the prevalence of children with Major Depressive Disorder in Western cultures ranges from 1. However, in terms of recurrence rates and symptom severity, there is no gender difference.
Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, approximately one out of five adolescents has a diagnosable mental health disorder, and nearly one-third show symptoms of depression. A study on trends in depression among adolescents and young adults showed a 37 percent increase in adolescent reports of major depressive episodes between and The defining feature of a major depressive episode is a period of at least two weeks during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest in nearly all activities.
Their sad feelings can last several days. It can be difficult to tell the difference between normal sadness and depression. You can start by looking at:.