Depression in Adolescents
Alternate Names : Teenage Depression
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Depression may not be preventable. However, these steps may be helpful in preventing it:
avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs
avoiding cigarette smoking
getting prompt treatment for other psychiatric disorders
seeking effective treatment for chronic diseases
talking with a counselor after experiencing a major trauma
Depression can lead to suicide. It is important to recognize and treat the condition early. Teens should be encouraged to talk to someone if they are concerned about depression. There are many people to whom they can talk, including:
a clergy member
a family doctor
their own parents, a friend's parent, or a trusted family member
a professional at a mental health center
a school counselor
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Most adolescents recover well from a single episode of depression. However, episodes are likely to recur. Adolescents with depression are at risk for further episodes of depression later in life. They are also at risk for adult personality disorders.
There is a strong connection between depression and suicide in adolescents. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24.
What are the risks to others?
Depression is not contagious and poses no risk to others.