Skip to main content

Adolescents with Depression need more help

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!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Depression with Bidirectional Illnesses

Depression with Bidirectional Illnesses I've said this before... depression doesn't walk alone in most cases. The importance of this cannot be emphasized enough because the coexistence of conditions often lead to worsening conditions. The constant exposure/experience of the simultaneous illnesses often end up in competition for attention which feed the cycle and make things worse for both (or multiple conditions). While I cannot list all combinations in this post, I'd like to illustrate the point with some common occurrences. Depression and Insomnia It has been proven by research that insomnia is a huge risk factor for depression as well as a consequence of depression. This is not hard to understand. In layman terms, those of us who don't get enough sleep often experience lack of energy, memory problems, and a host of other symptoms that make normal functioning of body and mind difficult on a daily basis. The frustration with not being able to do all the thing

First Step Ideas

One of the hardest thing for depressed people is to take the first step for getting help.  I know, I've been there.  It took 10 years, 2 episodes with cancer, a break in career progression, and a ton of perceived physical pain (yes, it was not real but I was still hurting). Here are some tips to start on the depression road: Ask a friend or family member to help you to make an appointment and accompany you to see a doctor.  You can see your general practitioner since depression is fairly easy to diagnose.  They can get prescribe an anti-depressant immediately and refer you to a therapist. Educate yourself about treatment methods by reading.   Learning about possible treatments (medical, psychological, life skills) is an essential part of developing skills to deal with depression. For example, there are a lot of misconceptions around what therapy is and can do which can lead to not reaching out, disappointment due to unreasonable expectations, and a plethora of other out

Break the Negative Cycle

Part of why depression is so debilitating is the vicious circle of negative thinking.  It goes something like this: I feel down > I'm lazy > I don't deserve ______ > I feel guilty/anxious/stressed/pain/paranoid/whatever > I should _____ > I'm tired > I don't care > leave me alone > REPEAT Here are some techniques I used to break this cycle: Listen to comedy - not the sarcastic type but pure funny stuff Search for quotes on life wisdom - ponder its truth and how (if at all) you can apply it Clean something - it is amazing how focusing on a simple task can give your mind a break Write a note of appreciation - like smiling, using positive language raises your spirit/mood Breath - if you don't know how, look up yoga/meditation/mindfulness The possibilities are endless.  The main idea I am highlighting is to FOCUS on something for a little while (15 minutes) to give your mind a break from negative thinking.  This will allow you to s