We are truly failing our young people with depression!
Take a look at the comparison. It is astounding to me to see that 60.1% of adolescents received NO treatment for their depression while it is about half of that for adults. The picture is even more bleak when it comes to proper treatment of medication and therapy.
The most scary thing is that these numbers only represent the population with diagnosed cases. Depending on the source, the estimates of undiagnosed cases could be as high as two-third in the US and even more globally.
I can think of many reasons for this.
1. Young people are less capable/willing to communicate their need for help.
Ideas: school programs, volunteer therapists, online forums, mentoring, buddy system, develop a behavioral assessment list that is unique to children
2. Parents are not aware of their child's mind
Ideas: recommend psychological assessment as prevention, educate about signs of depression, provide platforms/events/forums to raise awareness to this growing problem
3. Kids are resilient and develop coping mechanisms that mask depression
Ideas: parents/teachers need to monitor behavioral changes and alert each other in a systematic manner, make screening more available without stigma
4. Adults are too busy with their own stress/anxiety/depression that they have no capacity to help
There is not much to say here other than we have to find better ways to manage depression and the stresses that create it.
Of course, there are many other unique reasons why young people suffer. Each case is different and should be addressed on a personal level. The one thing I know is that if we don't come up with ways to help, we will see the next generation developing into emotionally unbalanced, unhappy, and ultimately less productive at work and personal life.
Let us help!
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