Friday, December 17, 2010

Depression: Different in Teens

by Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director
What Families Need to Know About Adolescent Depression
When it comes to health care, one size does not fit all.

Adolescents are thought to differ from adults living with depression because they more often experience symptoms of irritability, anger and self-criticism rather than feelings of sadness and a loss of energy commonly seen in adults.

NAMI has published What Families Need to Know about Adolescent Depression, a new edition of a guide for families seeking accurate diagnosis and wanting to know effective treatment options for teenagers experiencing depression.

The 35-page Family Guide summarizes symptoms of depression and treatment options, along with providing information about suicide prevention, healthcare and therapy.

The most common forms of therapy for adolescent depression are talk therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), medication or a combination of both.

It is important that parents and children engage in dialogue to create an open and honest environment where mental health issues are discussed and treated just like any other health risk. Communication is imperative. The family guide can help the discussion.
Teen depression

"Untreated, depression can lead to devastating consequences for adolescents, including ongoing problems in school, at home and with friends, the loss of critical developmental years and increased risk for substance abuse, involvement with the juvenile justice system and suicide."

--What Families Need to Know about Adolescent Depression

Since 2009, physicians have been encouraged to perform general depression screenings for children aged 12 to 18. Screenings and discussions with adolescents are vital in preventing them from reaching decisions where they resort to self-harm or suicide to achieve relief from distress that can be effectively treated.

A  PDF copy of the booklet can be downloaded from the NAMI website. Single and multiple copies can also be ordered through the NAMI store.

NAMI also has a Child & Adolescent Action Center that provides additional information and updates related to young people and mental illness.


Anonymous said...

"Adolescents are thought to differ from adults living with depression because they more often experience symptoms of irritability, anger and self-criticism rather than feelings of sadness and a loss of energy commonly seen in adults."

This is not entirely true. When I was 13 I had severe depression and was very much sad, along with little energy. The more I got older, however, I became more angry and easily irritable and not as very depressed as I was when I was 13.

Carol said...

Yes, I agree. You might think that you know what they are going through and say that you've been there. But since the times today has changed, they are probably not going through the same thing.

newport said...

You can see that periods of depressed mood make up a normal part of your child’s life. You even expect such periods at times of stress or change, especially following such serious losses as the death of a loved or the loss of a good friend. So how can you tell whether your child needs treatment for clinical depression?

Martin Rolloff said...

Depression is very common to teens. The link between anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation is very obvious. It is seen in the number of people coping with depression and at the same time with anxiety disorders. I remember few years back, I was suffering from depression. I'm having a hard time sleeping and it affects my productivity at work. My doctor gave me some natural sleep aids but nothing worked. Medicines are not the answer all the time. Whether the patients are dealing with depression or anxiety symptoms, it’s important to provide them information.

Lisa said...

Teens are getting depressed just because they are not patience in any thing. They are totally moving with technology and doesn't know how to handle pressure in life. Signs Of Depression

Tejwinder said...

Near about 30 millions of Americans are suffering from depression, WHO says depression is no.4 cause of disability on this planet and by year 2020-2025, it is going to be no.2 after obesity, but it doesn't mean that Depression can't be handle, Learn early signs of depression, symptoms of depression. How to get rid of depression before it gets severe.

relaxv said...

Thanks for sharing an insightful article, It’s not unusual for young people to experience "the blues" or feel "down in the dumps" occasionally. Adolescence is always an unsettling time, with the many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of life. | Psychologist NJ