Recognizing depression in adolescents.
Article Type: Disease/Disorder overview
Subject: Depression, Mental (Psychological aspects)
Child psychopathology (Psychological aspects)
Pub Date: 09/22/2008
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Fall, 2008 Source Volume: 11 Source Issue: 3
Persons: Named Person: Todd, Richard
Accession Number: 187049609

Dealing with the onset of depression is a trying time for any individual, but for adolescents, depression is more likely to lead to suicidal thoughts. Dr. John Constantino and Dr. Richard Todd attribute this to the fact that "adolescence is a time of identity formation during the human lifespan." When teens are also fighting depression, the results can be especially catastrophic.

Recognizing the warning signs is the first step. Teens at risk of depression can present with feelings of hopelessness, unexplained guilt, isolation from friends and family, failing grades on school work, and many others, said Constantino and Todd. They also suggest that parents help teens realize that 10 to 20 percent of adolescents experience major depression. Parents also need to vocalize the fact that suicide is just as harmful and tragic as the murder of another individual. Finally, adolescents need to be told of the high cure rate of depression with appropriate treatment. Constantino and Todd recommend psychotherapy be included in all treatment plans, with additional medication available as an option. The use of psychotherapy can help teens think differently about their depression and traumatic life events, and the support received from therapy can help the teen build an identity.

Overcoming depression is possible, says Constantino and Todd. "Not overcoming depression is never an acceptable option."

Constantino, J., & Todd, R. D. (2007, April 17). Antidepressants, psychotherapy and your teen. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from Depression/Story?id=3048841&page=1
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