Adolescent Depression



Depressionin the youth is the state of aversion to activity or having low moodsthat affect their behavior, sense of bring, actions and thoughts.According to Bhatia an Bhatia (2007), depression among the youngpeople is marked by sad moments, feeling guilty, worthless,restlessness, anxiety and irritability. Among the youth in the middleadolescence, depression commonly causes despair, which can be a riskfactor for several youth related problems. Depression and despair atthis stage can lead to suicidal contemplations, chronic alienationand psychiatric disorders. If not checked, depression can ruin thelife of a young person, especially when they engage in drugs andalcoholism. This paper will explore the relevant research ondepression among the youth and discuss the information that relatesto the problem.


Theprevalence in the United States has increased and stands at analarming level. According to National Institute of Mental Health(2014), about 11% of young people in an adolescent stage suffer fromdepression. By age 18, these numbers of adolescent have depressivedisorder that persists within their teenage. According to a report byChild Stats (2014), the prevalence of depression in youth doubledfrom the year 2008 to 2011. The overall prevalence decreased from theyear 2005 from 8.9% to 5.6% in 2008 but the same increased to thecurrent report of 11% in adolescents.

Interms of gender, girls are at more likely to suffer from depressionor experience depressive moments that their boy counterparts. ChildStats (2014) reported that in the period between 2005 and 2012, theprevalence of depression and depressive episodes reported in theunited states, among the adolescent girls was twice as much as it wasreported in boys. According to Child Stats (2014), the boys had adepression prevalence of about 5% to 6%for that time period while thegirls had 10% to 12% prevalence. In terms of severe depressivedisorders, the prevalence in girls was estimated at 7% to 8% ingirls, which is double to that of the boys that was reported to bearound 3% to 4% in the period between 2008 and 2012 (Child Stats,2014).

Depressionalso changes with the age of a child in adolescence and intoadulthood. According to National Institute of Mental Health (2014),the likelihood of depression increases with the age of a child. Asthe child gets older, the risk of depression increases. The WorldHealth Organization survey reports that depressive disorders are theleading risk factors towards having disabled adolescents from the ageof 15 to 44 years.


Theincrease in the prevalence rates is not surprising. This is becausethe current society is not socially cohesive enough, especially atthe family level. According to Borchard (2014)family members are busier with careerand professional growth than the emotional growth of the teenagers.However, the research presents new information that should beconsidered that the prevalence levels of depression are higher ingirls than in boys. This means that the emotional well being of girlsdoes not take care of as compared to the girls (Meichenbaum,2008). At the same time, more focusshould be given to girls, especially with the physiological changesthat they experience during adolescence.

Withthe current rates of prevalence threatening to increase in thefuture, it is important that the necessary steps be taken toalleviate further rise in depressive disorders. One of the steps thatcan be taken is to correct the depressive behaviors in adolescentbefore they lead to higher problems (Bhatia &amp Bhatia, 2007). Byaddressing the depression at early stages, the risk of having majordepressive disorder is limited. One of the most consistent symptomsto be noticed include poor concentration, loss of pleasure, silenceand appetite changes among others (Class Notes, 2014). However, themain challenge towards early detection is lack of knowledge andignorance among the adults.

Accordingto National Institute of Mental Health (2014), the problem withadolescent disorders is that the adults do not notice the symptoms ofdepression. The challenge is because the normal or abnormal behaviorschange from one adolescent to another. Therefore, changes in behaviorare not easily noticed, especially when the child shows depressivebehaviors (Meichenbaum, 2010). Moreover,National Institute of Mental Health (2014) notes that the depressivebehaviors are temporary and not persistent, which makes itchallenging for adults to realize. In addition, there is a perceptionthat youth does not experience depression because of a perceived lackof responsibilities. As a result, adolescents may experiencedepression for a long time without seeking help because their parentsand teachers have not noticed.


Thehigher prevalence of depression in girls than in boys is one of thekey take takeaways of the research. This shows that there is aneglect of the society on the emotional health of the girls comparesto the boys. In addition, the increase in depression in adolescentover the years brings another perspective about depression. Due tothese two takeaways, my feeling about depression has changed from theopinion that it is a light problem to a realization that it is aserious problem that needs a solution.


Bhatia,K., &amp Bhatia, S.C.(2007). Childhoodand . RetrievedFrom, &lt November 29,2014

Borchard,T. (2014). WhyAre So Many Teens Depressed?RetrievedFrom,&lt 29, 2014

ChildStats, 2014.America`s Young Adults: Special Issue,2014.Retrieved From,&lt 28, 2014

NationalInstitute of Mental Health, 2014. Depressionin Children and Adolescents (Fact Sheet)Retrieved From,&lt 28, 2014

Meichenbaum,D. (2010). Childand adolescent depression and suicide: promising hope andfacilitating change.RetrievedFrom, &lt November 29,2014