Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Clinical Depression In Young Adults

How To Combat Major Depressive Disorder

Young adults and depression in US

Sometimes medication can help teens who are experiencing a severe major depressive episode. However, studies show that clinical and holistic methods can be equally or more effective than antidepressant medication. In addition, such methods bolster teen mental health and ward off major depressive episodes. These include the following evidence-based approaches.

Clinical therapy modalities: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy are proven to be effective in treating depression in adolescents.

Exercise: In one 11-year study of 33,908 adults, researchers found that just one hour of exercise each week prevented 12 percent of depression cases. Moreover, another study found that only 30 minutes of exercise three times per week was as effective as antidepressant drugs.

Nutrition: The meal can be medicine. In other words, diet is a powerful method for relieving teen depression. In one trial study, one-third of participants experienced remission from depressive symptoms after three months of a healthy diet.

Mindfulness practice: A review study at Johns Hopkins found that meditation is just as effective as medication for teenage anxiety and depression. Meditation reduces depression by calming the nervous system and reducing wandering mind, which is associated with unhappiness.

PNAS. July 14, 2015. 112 :85678572.

JAMA Intern Med. 2014 174:357-368.

Clin Psych Sci. 2017 Nov:317.

BMC Med. 2017 Jan 30 15:23.

What Is Major Depression In Teens

Major depression is a type of mood disorder. Its also known as clinical depression or unipolar depression. There are 3 main types of depression:

  • Major depression

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Persistent depressive disorder

Major depression goes beyond the days normal ups and downs. It involves a teens body, mood, and thoughts. It can affect and disrupt eating, sleeping, or thinking patterns.

Depression is not the same as being unhappy or in a blue mood. It’s also not a sign of personal weakness. It cant be willed or wished away. Teens with depression cant merely pull themselves together and get better. Treatment is often needed.

The Opportunity And Challenge Of Providing Mental Health Care For Young Adults In Primary Care Settings

The primary care system is a setting where barriers preventing young adults from connecting to mental health services could be overcome. Pediatricians and primary care physicians are the front line of care and are in more frequent contact with young adults than mental health providers. According to US national data, adolescents receive treatment for mood and anxiety disorders mostly from specialized mental health providers . Adults, on the other hand, are treated by primary care or general practitioners ., A more recent study using the 2012â2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys revealed that most adult patients receiving treatment for depression were treated by general medical professionals exclusively and far less were treated by psychiatrists or other mental health specialists .

Twelve-month mental health use for mood and anxiety disorders among adolescents and adults

aMental health specialty: visit to a psychiatrist or psychologist in a setting such as a mental health clinic, community mental health center, drug or alcohol abuse clinic, or emergency room or admission to a psychiatric hospital or other facility. General medical setting: service provided by a general practitioner, family physician, pediatrician, or any other physician .

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The Overlap With Personality Disorder

There is a great deal of debate about whether the primary diagnosis in a substantial proportion of cases of borderline personality disorder is more usefully one of a primary mood disorder. In young adults, there is considerable overlap between the symptoms of mood disorder and cluster B personality disorder, particularly with regard to mood lability, impulsivity and self-harm. An 11-year follow-up of early-onset depression demonstrated that those who went on to develop bipolar disorder had many of the features of borderline personality disorder when first assessed . Given the damaging long-term implications of a diagnosis of personality disorder early in life, it seems good practice to exclude a primary mood disorder in young adults presenting with behaviours that might initially be suggestive of personality pathology. This kind of approach is supported by a recent international consensus that when patients satisfy the diagnostic criteria for both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, a bipolar diagnosis is preferred .

Mental Health Service Utilization

(PDF) A Therapist

Like research on mental disorders, information about mental health service use in the young adult population is often presented within data from older adults, who usually report higher rates of service utilization. The few studies that provide data by age subgroups show that the rate of mental health service utilization is lower among young adults than adolescents and older adults, despite a higher prevalence of psychopathology during young adulthood.â There is also prospective evidence that the percentage of treatment discontinuation during the time of transition to adult services is rather high. Specifically, a longitudinal population-based study indicated a significant decline in any service use for psychiatric disorders from 50.9% to 28.9% as adolescents transitioned to young adulthood. This occurred despite an observed increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders from 8.9% in adolescence to 15.9% in young adulthood.

A better understanding of the specific barriers to seeking treatment and of the challenges faced currently when providing treatment for youth and adults in primary care settings is required to strategize about how to best improve access to mental health services among young adults. This information can then help facilitate the development of feasible solutions to these barriers and challenges.

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Recognizing The Warning Signs

Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warnings. Pay attention to these warning signs:

  • Suicide threats, direct and indirect
  • Obsession with death
  • Overwhelming sense of guilt, shame or rejection
  • Changed eating or sleeping patterns
  • Severe drop in school performance

REMEMBER!!! These warning signs should be taken seriously. Obtain help immediately. Caring and support can save a young life.

The Emergence Of Gender Differences During Adolescence

That women are twice as likely as men to have depression is a consistent finding in psychiatric epidemiology and is not simply a consequence of females being more likely to report, recall or seek help for depressive symptoms. Before puberty, boys are slightly more likely than girls to be depressed, but between the ages of 11 and 13 this trend is reversed, with girls outnumbering boys by two to one. This predominance of females over males persists for the next 35 to 40 years. Changes in gonadal steroids are only part of the explanation for this gender gap. Hormonal changes in adolescence, combined with dramatic changes in social environment and relationships, stimulate the development of greater affiliative needs in females such as a preference for intimacy and emotional responsiveness. One result of this is that adolescent girls can be left more vulnerable to the effects of negative life events, especially ones that have interpersonal consequences .

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Facing The Danger Of Teen Suicide

Sometimes teens feel so depressed that they consider ending their lives. Each year, almost 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves. The rate of suicide for this age group has nearly tripled since 1960, making it the third leading cause of death in adolescents and the second leading cause of death among college-age youth.

Studies show that suicide attempts among young people may be based on long-standing problems triggered by a specific event. Suicidal adolescents may view a temporary situation as a permanent condition. Feelings of anger and resentment combined with exaggerated guilt can lead to impulsive, self-destructive acts.

Depression In Teens Vs Adults

Depression and Young Adults – What Is Depression

Depression in teens can look very different from depression in adults. The following signs and symptoms are more common in teenagers than in their adult counterparts:

Irritable or angry mood. As noted, irritability, rather than sadness, is often the predominant mood in depressed teens. A depressed teenager may be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or prone to angry outbursts.

Unexplained aches and pains. Depressed teens frequently complain about physical ailments such as headaches or stomachaches. If a thorough physical exam does not reveal a medical cause, these aches and pains may indicate depression.

Extreme sensitivity to criticism. Depressed teens are plagued by feelings of worthlessness, making them extremely vulnerable to criticism, rejection, and failure. This is a particular problem for over-achievers.

Withdrawing from some, but not all people. While adults tend to isolate themselves when depressed, teenagers usually keep up at least some friendships. However, teens with depression may socialize less than before, pull away from their parents, or start hanging out with a different crowd.

Is it depression or teenage growing pains?

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Youth Depression And Suicidal Behaviors

Adolescence is often a difficult stage in life. Some youth have more difficulty than others in feeling at ease with themselves. They may find little pleasure in life, have difficulty with social interaction, and face problems at school or work. They may become depressed and may even try to end their lifean act that devastates their family and others close to them. Understanding the factors at play, and how they interact, is crucial to helping young people enjoy the bright future they deserve.

The Symptoms Of Depression

  • Speak to your doctor or a trusted adult about how youre feeling.


  • Don’t be afraid to cry, especially if you’re male – it helps to release emotions and you’ll feel better afterwards.


  • Just know that sometimes we want a bad period of life to end rather than life itself.


  • Try to keep going outside, even if its just a short walk, it can really help your mood to lift.


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What Should I Do If I Think That One Of My Friends Has Depression

If you think your friend is depressed, you should try to get them to tell an adult, such as a parent, school counselor, or health care provider. If your friend will not get help, you should talk to a trusted adult. This is especially important if your friend has told you or another close friend that they dont want to live anymore.

You might worry that your friend will be upset with you if you tell an adult. In fact, they may have asked you not to tell anyone. You must remember though, that it is better for your friend to be angry with you at first for telling someone than to risk them ending their life.

Why Are Todays Teens So Stressed Out

Depression increasing among young people

In my opinion, its all of the above and more, writes Therese J. Borchard, author of Beyond Blue. Most experts would agree with me that there is more stress today than in previous generations. Stress triggers depression and mood disorders, so that those who are predisposed to it by their creative wiring or genes are pretty much guaranteed some symptoms of depression at the confusing and difficult time of adolescence. I think modern lifestyles -lack of community and family support, less exercise, no casual and unstructured technology-free play, less sunshine and more computer -factors into the equation.

Borchard also wonders about the role of environmental factors such as diets of American processed fast foods and the possibility of increased exposure to toxins. She speculates that even if our brains are similar to research subjects in the past, our hectic lifestyles, environmental toxins, and other challenges may increase the stress factors that contribute to depression.

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Why Are So Many Teens Depressed

Here are some disturbing statistics about teen depression. According to, teen and adolescent suicides have continued to rise dramatically in recent years. Consider these alarming figures:

  • Every 100 minutes a teen takes their own life.
  • Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24.
  • About 20 percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Between 10 to 15 percent suffer from symptoms at any one time.
  • Only 30 percent of depressed teens are being treated for it.

Some teens are more at risk for depression and suicide than others. These are known factors:

  • Female teens develop depression twice as often than males.
  • Abused and neglected teens are especially at risk.
  • Adolescents who suffer from chronic illnesses or other physical conditions are at risk.
  • Teens with a family history of depression or mental illness: between 20 to 50 percent of teens suffering from depression have a family member with depression or some other mental disorder.
  • Teens with untreated mental or substance-abuse problems: approximately two-thirds of teens with major depression also battle another mood disorder like dysthymia, anxiety, antisocial behaviors, or substance abuse.
  • Young people who experienced trauma or disruptions at home, including divorce and deaths of parents.

Suicide Warning Signs In Depressed Teens

Seriously depressed teens, especially those who also abuse alcohol or drugs, often think about, speak of, or make attempts at suicideand an alarming and increasing number are successful. So its vital that you take any suicidal thoughts or behaviors very seriously. Theyre a cry for help from your teen.

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Signs Of Depression In Young Adults

Over 20% of young adults ages 18 29 suffer from depression. Left undiagnosed or untreated, depression can lead to serious, harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse, promiscuity, self-harm, violence, or even suicide. This guide will share some of the unique warning signs of depression in young adults.

Depression in young adults doesnt consist of just moodiness and bouts of sadness or melancholy. Major Depressive Disorder is a serious problem that has the potential to affect many aspects of an individuals life. While many well-adjusted adults have trouble learning how to deal with depression, it is even more difficult for young adults.

What To Do If A Young Person Is Depressed

Study: Depression increasing in young adults

If you do suspect a young person as having depression, it is important to find support immediately, recovery is much quicker in those who feel supported by those around them whether a family member, friend, counsellor or doctor.

In supporting a young person experiencing depression there are positive steps that you can take to help and provide support. For instance:

  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings making sure that it is clear to the young person that you are willing to provide whatever support is necessary
  • Take an understanding approach and listen carefully to what the young person is saying, if you criticise or pass judgement the young person will feel that you do not take their emotions seriously and will refuse to talk on the matter in the future
  • Avoid comments like, snap out of it, get your act together as this can strengthen feelings of self-blame and low self-esteem
  • Learn about depression, the more you know the better equipped you will be to help
  • Research the sources of support that are available, offer to go with them to a doctors appointment or to speak to someone else.
  • Encourage the young person t take part in physical activity, exercise such as walking the dog can help alleviate the symptoms of depression
  • It is also important to look after your own mental health. Whilst it is important to be there for a young person, dont try and cope with everything on your own. Getting help and support will make things easier for both you and your young person.

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Depression Symptoms In Teens: Why Todays Teens Are More Depressed Than Ever

After a decline in the 1990s, the number of young people that commit suicide has been increasing every year. While no one can explain exactly why, many experts say adolescents and teens today probably face more pressures at home or school, worry about financial issues for their families, and use more alcohol and drugs. This is a very dangerous time for our young people, Kathy Harms, a staff psychologist at Kansas Citys Crittenton Childrens Center, told the Portland Press Herald. Were seeing more anxiety and depression in children of all ages.

Does Depression Medicine Work For Teen Depression

Yes. A large number of research trials have shown the effectiveness of depression medications in relieving the symptoms of teen depression. One key recent study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, reviewed three different approaches to treating adolescents with moderate to severe depression:

  • One approach was using the antidepressant medication Prozac, which is approved by the FDA for use with pediatric patients ages 8-18.
  • The second treatment was using cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to help the teen recognize and change negative patterns of thinking that may increase symptoms of depression.
  • The third approach was a combination of medication and CBT.

At the end of the 12-week study, researchers found that nearly three out of every four patients who received the combination treatment — depression medication and psychotherapy — significantly improved. More than 60% of the kids who took Prozac alone improved. But the study confirmed that combination treatment was nearly twice as effective in relieving depression as psychotherapy alone.

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What To Do If Youre Showing Signs Of Depression

If youre showing signs of depression, here are some steps you can take:

  • Get support.Talk trusted friends and family members and let them know what youre going through. You need support as you go through this struggle.
  • Talk to your primary care physician.Because depression can have physical causes, your doctor may be able to help by checking for physical issues connected to your depression symptoms.
  • In a crisis, get immediate help.If youre considering harming yourself or taking your own life, get help immediately. Your life is worth living, and you need support to get through this. Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 273-8255 immediately.
Get advice and support from the professionals at Sandstone Care.

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