Most young adults with depression can be helped with treatment. Yet, most depressed young adults never get the help they need. And, when depression isn’t treated, it can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from getting the most out of your life. It can ultimately result in suicide. Remember, you’re only a teenager once.
Clinical Depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, including teenagers. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health.
- Each year 500,000 young adults, aged 15 to 25, attempt suicide.
- Each year 5,000 young adults succeed.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 25 year olds.
- Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death among 5 to 14 year olds.
- Young adult males succeed at suicide almost two times as often as any other group.
- Without treatment, of those who attempt suicide, 80 percent are likely to try again.
- Teen depression almost always leads to suicidal thoughts.
- The number one cause of teen suicide is untreated depression.
- Most suicidal teens respond positively to psychotherapy and medication.
- Nearly 90 percent of depressed people benefit from medication.
- Those contemplating suicide can be "talked out of it."
About ten percent of Americans suffer from a depressive illness. Some experts estimate that four to five percent of adolescents suffer from teen depression. If you suffer from clinical depression, you can’t just "pull yourself together" and get better. Professional intervention is necessary.
Because most depressed young adults do not seek help on their own, you as parents, have to recognize the symptoms and know something about teen suicide facts and signs. Without treatment, their illness can last for weeks, months, years, or a lifetime and can have impact on all aspects of their life.
As the rate of teen depression rises, so does the incidence of suicide. An estimated eighty percent of adolescents contemplating suicide will give clues that they are suicidal. If you suspect that your child on someone you know is desperate for help or has said they want to "Give Up", You must seek help for that person. If they ignore you, tell someone else.
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR If one or more of these signs of depression persist, parents should seek help:
- Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying. Teens may show their pervasive sadness by wearing black clothes, writing poetry with morbid themes, or having a preoccupation with music that has nihilistic themes. They may cry for no apparent reason.
- Hopelessness. teens may feel that life is not worth living or worth the effort to even maintain their appearance or hygiene. They may believe that a negative situation will never change and be pessimistic about their future.
- Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities. Teens may become apathetic and drop out of clubs, sports, and other activities they once enjoyed. Not much seems fun anymore to the depressed teen.
- Persistent boredom; low energy. Lack of motivation and lowered energy level is reflected by missed classes or not going to school. A drop in grade averages can be equated with loss of concentration and slowed thinking.
- Social isolation, poor communication. There is a lack of connection with friends and family. Teens may avoid family gatherings and events. Teens who used to spend a lot of time with friends may now spend most of their time alone and without interests. Teens may not share their feelings with others, believing that they are alone in the world and no one is listening to them or even cares about them.
- Low self esteem and guilt. Teens may assume blame for negative events or circumstances. They may feel like a failure and have negative views about their competence and self-worth. They feel as if they are not "good enough."
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure. Believing that they are unworthy, depressed teens become even more depressed with every supposed rejection or perceived lack of success.
- Increased irritability, anger, or hostility. Depressed teens are often irritable, taking out most of their anger on their family. They may attack others by being critical, sarcastic, or abusive. They may feel they must reject their family before their family rejects them.
- Difficulty with relationships. Teens may suddenly have no interest in maintaining friendships. They’ll stop calling and visiting their friends.
- Frequent complaints of physical illnesses, such as headaches and stomachaches. Teens may complain about lightheadedness or dizziness, being nauseous, and back pain. Other common complaints include headaches, stomachaches, vomiting, and menstrual problems.
- Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school. Children and teens who cause trouble at home or at school may actually be depressed but not know it. Because the child may not always seem sad, parents and teachers may not realize that the behavior problem is a sign of depression.
- Poor concentration. Teens may have trouble concentrating on schoolwork, following a conversation, or even watching television.
- A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns. Sleep disturbance may show up as all-night television watching, difficulty in getting up for school, or sleeping during the day. Loss of appetite may become anorexia or bulimia. Eating too much may result in weight gain and obesity.
- Talk of or efforts to run away from home. Running away is usually a cry for help. This may be the first time the parents realize that their child has a problem and needs help.
- Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior. Teens who are depressed may say they want to be dead or may talk about suicide. Depressed children and teens are at increased risk for committing suicide. If a child or teen says, "I want to kill myself," or "I’m going to commit suicide," always take the statement seriously and seek evaluation from a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional. People often feel uncomfortable talking about death. However, asking whether he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide can be helpful. Rather than "putting thoughts in the child’s head," such a question will provide assurance that somebody cares and will give the young person the chance to talk about problems.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Depressed teens may abuse alcohol or other drugs as a way to feel better.
- Self-Injury. Teens who have difficulty talking about their feelings may show their emotional tension, physical discomfort, pain and low self-esteem with self-injurious behaviors, such as cutting.
If your teen is showing any of these warning signs of teenage depression, seek professional help immediately. Zion Educational Systems is a website for programs for troubled teens. Our mission is to give troubled teens the therapy and training they need to overcome their issues, whether it be depression, suicidal thoughts, or drug and alcohol abuse. Our students come from all over the United States including California, Georgia, and Texas.