Some facts about Depression:(taken from When It Hurts to be a Teenager by Ralph E. Cash) Depression is a treatable medical illness, not just a bad mood or an inevitable part of life’s ups and downs.
• Depression affects 8–10% of adolescents and is the most common cause of disability in the United States.
• Depression in teens differs from depression in young children or adults. Teens are more affected by their social environment, more irritable than sad, and more chronically depressed.
• Depression affects people of all ages and backgrounds. However, postpubescent girls are twice as likely to suffer from serious depression than boys, and certain populations, such as gay and bisexual youths and American Indians, suffer higher rates of depression. Untreated depression is the leading risk for suicide among adolescents.
• Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents ages 15–24 and the fourth leading cause of death among children ages 10–14. Nearly 2,000 young people die of suicide every year; nearly 400,000 attempt suicide; nearly 2 million make a suicide plan. Girls are twice as likely to attempt suicide but boys are 10 times more likely to succeed because they tend to choose more lethal methods of attempting suicide (e.g. guns).
• Depression can be linked to poor academic performance, poor social relationships, school absenteeism, dropping out, disruptive behavior, and school violence.
• Depressive episodes can resolve themselves but, if ignored, are likely to reoccur within a year. Talking to friends or family is an important source of support but on its own is not enough to treat depression.
• Nearly 70% of children and youth with serious mental health problems do not get treatment. Eighty percent of people treated for depression respond to treatment, which usually includes a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and support groups.
DEPRESSION web links:
American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
American Psychological Association
American Psychiatric Association
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation