Statistics show that Teen Depression is a common problem:
- About 20 percent of teens will experience depression symptoms before they reach adulthood
- Between 10 to 15 percent of teenagers have some symptoms of depression symptoms at any one time
- About 5 percent of teens are suffering from major depression at any one time
- As many as 8.3 percent of teens suffer from depression symptoms for at least a year at a time, compared to about 5.3 percent of the general population
- Most teens with depression will suffer from more than one episode. 20 to 40 percent will have more than one episode within two years, and 70 percent will have more than one episode before adulthood. Episodes of depression generally last about 8 months
- Dysthymia, a type of low grade chronic depression, affects about 2 percent of teens. 15 percent of teens with depression eventually develop bipolar disorder
- A small percent of teens also suffer from seasonal depression, usually during the winter months in higher latitudes.
Depression can affect teens regardless of gender, social background, income level, race, or school or other achievements. Teenage girls report suffering from depression more often than teenage boys. Teenage boys are less likely to seek help or recognize that they suffer from depression. Seeking depression treatment and anxiety treatment is imperative to helping teens live happier, healthier lives.
Other risk factors that increase the chances of an episode of teen depression include:
- Previous episodes of depression
- Experiencing trauma, abuse, or a long-term illness or disability
- A family history of depression; between 20 to 50 percent of teens who suffer from depression have a family member with depression or other mental disorders
- Other untreated problems; about two thirds of teens with major depression also suffer from another mental disorder, such as dysthymia, addiction to drugs or alcohol, anxiety, or antisocial behaviors.
A teen suffering from depression is also at higher risk for other problems:
- 30 percent of teens with depression also develop a substance abuse problem.
- Teenagers with depression are likely to have a smaller social circle and take advantage of fewer opportunities for education or careers
- Depressed teens are more likely to have trouble at school and in jobs, and to struggle with relationships
- Teens with untreated depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to higher rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
- Teens with depression seem to catch physical illnesses more often than other teens
- Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide and the third leading cause of death among teenagers. 90 percent of suicide victims suffer from a mental illness. Depression can make a teenager as much as 12 times more likely to attempt suicide.
Less than 33 percent of teens with depression get help, yet 80 percent of teens with depression can be successfully treated with help from a doctor or therapist. Recognizing depression symptoms and seeking depression treatment are key.
Teen depression treatment is important:
Seeking help for depression is the first step in overcoming many problems associated with adolescent depression. Keep reading for tips on seeking help with teen depression.
If you have a family member or friend that suffers from teenage depression, please seek help immediately.
Do not wait for them to come to you. Go talk to them and find out if they are having problems at home, school, or work. The best thing you can do is get them to a local therapist to get a proper diagnosis.
All too often we hear stories of untreated childhood depression symptoms developing into problems with the law, drugs, and alcohol.
If a teenager you know speaks of dying, gives away personal belongings, or is fascinated by death please contact a local therapist or suicide help line ASAP. These are warning signs of suicide attempts. If this person is threatening suicide call 800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 877-YOUTHLINE (968-8454).
Do not wait for help. There are plenty of residential treatment centers for troubled youth, drug rehab, and other specialty private schools to assist troubled teens.
Teenage Depression Statistics Sources:
- Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General [online] Kidshealth.org from the Nemours Foundation, “Understanding Depression”
- Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA, A Family Guide, Keeping Youth Mentally Healthy and Drug Free, “Depression Hurts”
- U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia, “Depression signs in Teenagers”
- Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, “Depression and Suicide in children and adolescents”
- WebMD.com : Depression in Childhood and Adolescence, WebMD/The Cleveland Clinic “Seasonal Depression”
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