Thursday, May 30, 2024

How Many Kids Are Depressed

Are Teens Today Unprepared For Lifes Challenges

All the kids are depressed – Jeremy Zucker

Some of the experts believe that we have raised our teens to have unrealistic expectations. Along with the messages from modern media sources that suggest that we should always feel good, they say many parents havent taught their kids the kind of coping skills they need to survive in chaotic times.

Anxiety And Depression In Children: Get The Facts

Many children have fears and worries, and may feel sad and hopeless from time to time. Strong fears may appear at different times during development. For example, toddlers are often very distressed about being away from their parents, even if they are safe and cared for. Although some fears and worries are typical in children, persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness could be due to anxiety or depression. Learn about anxiety and depression in children.

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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What Causes Depression In Children

As in adults, depression in children can be caused by any combination of things that relate to physical health, life events, family history, environment, genetic vulnerability, and biochemical disturbance. Depression is not a passing mood, nor is it a condition that will go away without proper treatment.

Involve Your Child In Treatment Choices

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When choosing a specialist or pursuing treatment options, always get your teens input. If you want your teen to be motivated and engaged in their treatment, dont ignore their preferences or make unilateral decisions. No one therapist is a miracle worker, and no one treatment works for everyone. If your child feels uncomfortable or is just not connecting with the psychologist or psychiatrist, seek out a better fit.

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There Are Many Types Of Depression

If you feel depressed, it does not automatically mean you have a depressive disorder. Depression may be a symptom of another physical or psychological medical condition.

Depression could also be a natural response to a major stressor and does not indicate that youll need to prepare to live with recurring depression.

Some types of depression include:

When Should I Call The Doctor

Call a healthcare provider if your child has any signs of depression or anxiety. If your child is showing signs of suicide, get help right away. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This hotline connects you to a national network of local crisis centers for free and confidential emotional support. The centers support people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In an emergency, call 911.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

While it may be difficult to watch your child dealing with depression or anxiety, help is available. The right treatment can ensure your child continues to grow and thrive throughout their development. In addition to medical help, you can support your child by making sure they have a healthy environment at home, at school and in the community. Always let your child know they can communicate openly and honestly about their feelings.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/17/2020.

References

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The Stats On Adolescent Depression In Schools

Adolescent depression in school is increasingly common. For various reasons, adolescents are at great risk for depression during high school and college.

Unfortunately, social stigma around mental illness still exists among people of all ages. As a result, high school and college students often hesitate to seek help for depression. In 2016, approximately 60 percent of teens who suffered a major depressive episode did not receive treatment of any kind.

In order to counteract adolescent depression in schools and the resulting stigma, teens and parents need to be educated about mental health. Thus, they will be better equipped to help others, offer support, and even save lives.

Key Points About Depression In Adolescence

All Kids are Depressed – Jeremy Zucker
  • Depression in this age group should be taken seriously. Youth suicide is the leading cause of death in this age group.
  • It can be hard to distinguish adolescent turmoil from depressive illness, especially as the young person is also forging new roles within the family and struggling with independence, and academic and career decisions.
  • Both biological and developmental factors contribute to depression in adolescence. If bipolar disorder or psychosis is suspected biological causes would need to be examined. Read about bipolar disorder.
  • In identifying difficulties, it can help to consider some of the areas that the adolescent is dealing with: school, family, peer group and intimate and/or sexual relationships and sexuality.

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How Common Is Childhood Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health disorders in children. About 7% of children ages 3 to 17 have anxiety about 3% deal with depression.

Both depression and anxiety tend to be higher in older children and teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17. An estimated 3.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 13.3% of the U.S. population aged 12 to 17. An estimated 31.9% of adolescents have had an anxiety disorder.

Tip : Support Your Teen Through Depression Treatment

As your depressed teenager goes through treatment, the most important thing you can do is to let them know that youre there to listen and offer support. Now more than ever, your teenager needs to know that theyre valued, accepted, and cared for.

Be understanding.Living with a depressed teenager can be difficult and draining. At times, you may experience exhaustion, rejection, despair, aggravation, or any other number of negative emotions. During this trying time, its important to remember that your child is not being difficult on purpose. Your teen is suffering, so do your best to be patient and understanding.

Stay involved in treatment. Make sure your teenager is following all treatment instructions, whether its attending therapy or correctly taking any prescribed medication. Track changes in your teens condition, and call the doctor if depression symptoms seem to be getting worse.

Be patient. The road to your depressed teenagers recovery may be bumpy, so be patient. Rejoice in small victories and prepare for the occasional setback. Most importantly, dont judge yourself or compare your family to others. As long as youre doing your best to get your teen the necessary help, youre doing your job.

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Theres No Single Cause Of Depression

Depression often brings deeply negative or apathetic feelings, but its important to remember that these emotions do not reflect any character flaws.

In fact, depression often stems from events outside of your control, such as:

Of course, depression can also develop without a specific triggering event or preexisting condition, just as it can result from numerous sources. Exploring the causes of your depression with a professional can help you determine the most effective treatment plan.

Helping A Depressed Teen Tip : Encourage Social Connection

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Depressed teens tend to withdraw from their friends and the activities they used to enjoy. But isolation only makes depression worse, so do what you can to help your teen reconnect.

Make face time a priority. Set aside time each day to talktime when youre focused totally on your teen, without distractions or trying to multi-task. The simple act of connecting face to face can play a big role in reducing your teens depression. And remember: talking about depression or your teens feelings will not make the situation worse, but your support can make all the difference in their recovery.

Combat social isolation. Do what you can to keep your teen connected to others. Encourage them to go out with friends or invite friends over. Participate in activities that involve other families and give your child an opportunity to meet and connect with other kids.

Try to reduce their social media use. Remind your teen that social media isnt an ideal substitute for face-to-face interactions. Encourage them to turn off their phoneor at least disable notificationswhen socializing in person, focusing on work, or preparing for bed.

Get your teen involved. Suggest activitiessuch as sports, after-school clubs, or an art, dance, or music classthat take advantage of your teens interests and talents. While your teen may lack motivation and interest at first, as they reengage with the world, they should start to feel better and regain their enthusiasm.

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Seek Professional Help Together

Depression is a very treatable mental health issue. It isnt curable, but it can be managed and reduced to the point where most patients can live long and fulfilling lives in spite of their diagnosis. Depression isnt always for life, either symptoms may last months or years, but can and do go away. Professional treatment is often your best bet for overcoming depressive symptoms, or helping a loved one get better.

The treatment for depression is a combination of individual talk therapy and antidepressant medication. SSRIs are the most prescribed antidepressants because they are generally well-tolerated and have minimal side effects. They work by increasing the availability of serotonin in a person, which may improve mood by a significant enough margin for other long-term interventions to help reduce symptoms and manage depressive episodes.

If SSRIs dont work, doctors may consider prescribing other classes of antidepressants. It can take multiple weeks for an antidepressant to fully take effect, as well as multiple weeks to safely cycle off of an antidepressant. If you think you may be depressed, or know someone who may be depressed, you should talk to an adult about getting help or bring them to a therapist or psychiatrist to get tested.

How To Help A Depressed Teenager

Depression is very damaging when left untreated, so dont wait and hope that worrisome symptoms will go away. If you suspect that your teen is depressed, bring up your concerns in a loving, non-judgmental way. Even if youre unsure that depression is the issue, the troublesome behaviors and emotions youre seeing are signs of a problem that should be addressed.

Open up a dialogue by letting your teen know what specific depression symptoms youve noticed and why they worry you. Then ask your child to share what theyre going throughand be ready and willing to truly listen. Hold back from asking a lot of questions , but make it clear that youre ready and willing to provide whatever support they need.

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Depression In Children: Warning Signs

Parents should be particularly vigilant for signs that may indicate that their child is at risk for suicide.

Warning signs of suicidal behavior in children include:

  • Many depressive symptoms
  • Social isolation, including isolation from the family
  • Talk of suicide, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Increased acting-out of undesirable behaviors
  • Increased risk-taking behaviors
  • Focus on morbid and negative themes
  • Talk about death and dying
  • Increased crying or reduced emotional expression
  • Giving away possessions

If you suspect that your child or teenager is depressed, take the time to listen to their concerns. Even if you don’t think the problem is of real concern, remember that it may feel very real to them. Itâs important to keep the lines of communication open, even if your child seems to want to withdraw. Try to avoid telling your child what to do. Instead, listen closely and you may discover more about the issues causing the problems.

If you feel overwhelmed or unable to reach your child, or if you continue to be concerned, seek professional help.

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How Does Psychotherapy Work

All Kids Are Depressed (Slowed to Perfection)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can treat anxiety or depression in children. CBT helps children learn to think more positively and control negative behaviors. It can also help children manage anxiety by getting to the root of their fears and worries. Therapy gives children tools to cope with anxiety and depression in healthier ways.

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Overweight Children 4 Times More Likely To Be Depressed As Adults Study Finds

AMSTERDAM Children who are overweight are as much as four times more likely to battle depression as adults, a new study finds.

Researchers from the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam say that kids face an increased risk if theyre obese during one of two points of childhood, while those who are heavy continuously as a child into adulthood face a quadrupled risk of depression.

Our findings suggest that some of the underlying mechanisms linking overweight or obesity to depression stem from childhood. A shared genetic risk or low self-esteem, which is frequently associated with those who do not conform to the ideal body type, could be responsible, the authors say in a press release.

The research team examined participants from a decades-old study that included people born between 1907 and 1935 who lived in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1967. Any relationship between those who were overweight during childhood and experienced depression was recorded, and the researchers looked to determine if depressive symptoms showed more of a correlation in people who were always obese versus people who only battled weight problems as adults.

Then from 2002 to 2006, participants still alive were invited to join another study that looked at people at least 75 years old. The team found that people who were obese at 8 years old or 13 years old were four times more likely to suffer from lifetime major depressive order, as opposed to kids who only became overweight as adults.

Extraordinary Disruption And Stress

Youth mental health had already been declining prior to the pandemic. More than 1 in 3 high school students reported having persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40% increase from 2009, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The pandemic created conditions that might have exacerbated these negative feelings. With school closures and remote learning, children experienced the loss of peer interactions, greater social isolation, and less interaction with other supportive adults like teachers and coaches. These changes may have contributed to increased symptoms of depression, such as feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, and disruption to appetite and sleep, according to the study.

Additionally, the general uncertainty and disruptions of daily routines caused by the pandemic likely increased symptoms of generalized anxiety in youth, including fear, uncontrollable worry and hyperarousal, the study noted. Worry for the health of family and friends as Covid-19 spread also likely contributed to childrens heightened anxiety, according to the research.

Children and youth have experienced extraordinary disruption and stress during the pandemic, and its taken a toll on their mental health, Madigan said. When mental health problems persist and arent properly addressed, they can have lasting consequences.

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When To Get Medical Help

If you think your child is depressed, or you’re concerned about their general wellbeing, make an appointment with them to see a GP.

If necessary, the GP can refer your child to a local children and young people’s mental health service for specialist help.

CYPMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their mental health or wellbeing.

You may also be able to refer your child without seeing a GP.

Read more about accessing mental health services.

Where To Get Help For An Adolescent

How Many Adolescents Are Depressed?

If you think your son or daughter, or someone you are close to, might be depressed, the first step is to take them to a doctor. The doctor will conduct an assessment that may involve assessing the young person on their own, with their parents or carers, or both. This will depend on the age and maturity of the young person and the wishes of those involved.

The doctor will offer advice about managing the situation which may include lifestyle changes. The doctor may refer the young person onto a psychologist. They could also speak to the guidance officer or counsellor at your child’s school.

Sometimes the adolescent may not want to seek help. In this case it’s best to explain that you are concerned and perhaps also provide them with some information to read about depression. It’s important for them to know that depression is a common problem and that there are people who can help.

There are also some excellent websites designed for young people, as well as online and telephone counselling services. These include:

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Signs Of Depression In An Adolescent

An adolescent who is depressed may not show obvious signs of depression. Instead, they may start to behave uncharacteristically, for example by:

  • becoming socially withdrawn
  • refusing to eat, or gaining a lot of weight
  • having physical problems including sore muscles, unexplained aches and pains
  • not wanting to go to school or work

If you have noticed a change in their behaviour, its happening frequently and has gone on for more than 2 weeks, and its affecting their day to day life, then it is a good idea to seek help.

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