A new study has found that teen depression in the United States in on the rise. However, further studies have found hope for those that are suffering, claiming that psychological treatment is an effective tool in the battle toward balancing mental health.
A study was conducted between 2005 and 2014 that delved into the mental health of teens, especially those suffering from depression. The results were shocking as it was discovered those that had major episodes of depression rose from 8.7 percent to 11.3 percent, according to the Daily Herald.
The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics in November.
It is important to note that depression is not defined as simply being sad over a period of time. A major depressive episode is actually defined as ‘a person having multiple symptoms, such as feelings of emptiness, irritability or hopelessness that last for two week or more’.
During the study, it was found that teenage girls reported cases of depression more than boys did. However, that does not mean that teen girls are more susceptible, it simply means they spoke up about the depression more than boys.
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Although the significant increase of teen depression was discovered, the reason for the increase was not clear. However, some of the best suggestions for the increase include a higher exposure to risk factors such as cyber bullying, which is more likely to occur in girls than boys.
Warning signs of depression include increased irritability and impatience, distancing one’s self from friends and family, self-mutilation, dietary habit changes, and a sudden drop in academic performance. The depressed teen is unlikely to openly share the depression, so it is advisable that friends and family monitor the teens for the warning signs and seek help if needed. The key to successful treatment is to identify the issues early on and seek the help from a mental health professional as soon as depression is suspected.
Ian Goodyear, of the department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, claims that research shows early intervention is key into stopping depression from controlling an individual’s life.
“Depression can seriously impair people’s lives, and in many cases begins during their teenage years. If we can tackle it early on, evidence suggests we can reduce the chances of severe depression returning.”
According to the research conducted, claims CBS News, teens that are treated by mental health professionals have about a 70 percent success rate in conquering their depression in the short term. However, long term impacts are still in the process of being researched. However, it is believed that if the cases of teen depression can be treated successfully, any return in the future can be spotted by the individual and additional treatment can be sought.
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Goodyear’s study followed 465 teens in England and a random selection of those teens were split between various therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy, psychosocial intervention, and short-term psychoanalytic therapy.
Despite the 70 percent success rate, Peter Fogany of the Anne Freud Center at the University of London is concerned about the 30% that were not successfully treated.
“Of course, this means that there are still a substantial proportion of teenagers who do not benefit and we need to understand why this should be the case and find appropriate treatments to help them, too,”
Despite the lack of success on the remaining 30 percent, there are many other psychological approaches to treatment that were not attempted on the test group. Further testing might find other methods that are successful. Then, the enigma will be choosing the correct method for each depressed teen.
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