According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2015 an estimated 3 million teens in America between the ages of 12 and 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past 12 months; that’s 12.5 percent of the U.S. adolescent population. An MDE is experiencing symptoms of depression, such as loss of interest in usual activities, lack of energy and hopelessness, accompanied by depressed mood for a period of two weeks or more. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the prevalence of adolescents who reported they had an MDE in the previous year jumped from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.5 percent in 2014 – a 37 percent increase. Sadly, adolescent depression continues to rise.
However, despite the increase in adolescent depression, there hasn’t been a proportionate increase in mental health treatment. These teens are not receiving the professional services they need to help them cope and relieve their symptoms. Teen depression goes beyond sadness and can often manifest in anger, moodiness and isolation. Whether your teen is being moody or suffering from clinical depression can be difficult to determine, since depression can be easily mistaken for typical teen behavior.
It’s easy to dismiss adolescent behavior as a snarky attitude or being disrespectful, but perhaps there’s more to the story. What if behind the defiance, your teen is miserable, can’t remember the last time she felt happy, or worse yet, questioned whether she’d be better off dead? With these troublesome and dismal thoughts looming, your teen may know that something is wrong but not know how to talk with you about how she feels. Though it may be difficult to distinguish from teen angst, adolescent depression is real, it’s painful and it can take an emotional, mental and physical toll. The only way you can combat teen depression is to take a proactive approach.
By Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, Contributor - USNEWS
Teen Depression is a serious mental health problem that is affecting our community. There is a need to address this issue of teen depression by spotting the signs and symptoms early. Over 20 percent of American teens experience depression by the age of 18. Most mental health issues require some intervention or counseled treatment.
11.01% of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. Major Depression is marked by significant and pervasive feelings of sadness that are associated with suicidal thoughts and impair a young person’s ability to concentrate or engage in normal activities.
7.4% of youth (or 1.8 million youth) experienced severe depression. These youth experienced very serious interference in school, home and in relationships.
States with highest rates (bottom 10 states) have almost TWICE as many severely depressed youth than states with the lowest rates (top 10 states).
The state prevalence of youth with Severe MDE ranges from 5.2% in North Dakota to 10.7% in Oregon.
Teen social support certainly goes a long way to limit depression. The study found that there were two mediational pathways that helped to limit depression in teens. Family support helped to mediate the link between CFAs and depressive symptoms in teens at age seventeen. Teens, who experienced multiple CFAs by age fourteen, which was in turn linked to less than optimal family support, were more likely to develop depression by age seventeen. A second pathway suggests that teen friendshipshelped to mediate the link between peer bullying and risk of depressive symptoms.