Depression is a serious disorder which can affect people from any walk of life, from the wealthy and famous to the most humble. It can be a devastating illness that leaves its sufferers jobless, homeless and with ruined relationships in every sphere. Modern estimates suggest that 1 in 10 adults in the US suffer from depressive disorders, costing more than $80 billion in a single year. Treating depression early is the best way to improve the final outcome, and it is very important to identify and diagnose depression in young people as soon as possible. Like most mental health problems major depressive disorders often begin in adolescence, and this is why supportive treatments, including teen counseling for depression, are so essential in preventing long-term negative outcomes for depressive disorders.
Depression in the US 2000-2018
A considerable percentage of the US population suffers from depressive disorders, including major, or unipolar, depression. In 2007, 10% of 18-24-year-olds were diagnosed with the depressive disorder in LA, while over 1,000,000 adults reported that they had been diagnosed with depression and other disorders. A third reported that they had frequent mental health issues. Rates of drinking and smoking were markedly higher for those with this diagnosis. Alongside these problems, a fifth of patients reported that they could not afford counseling or mental health care, and 36% of these patients were uninsured, with another 21% using Medi-Cal. This means that many adults suffering from depression and depressive disorders were unable to receive the treatment that they would need. Giving teenagers with depression the treatment that they need may be their best opportunity to learn life skills that will help them cope with mental health issues as adults.
Teenagers and depression in LA
In California, over 38,000 patients under the age of 19 were hospitalized with mental health issues in 2016. Nearly 26,000 of these were between the ages of 15 and 19. The same report also states that nearly a fifth of California teens required help for mental health or emotional problems by 2014. The Office of Adolescent Health 2017 reports that 43% of teen girls feel sad or hopeless ‘for 2 or more weeks in a row’, which is greater than the national average. 22% had felt suicidal. 22% of boys in this age range felt the similarly sad and hopeless, while 12% had suicidal feelings. 8% of young men had attempted suicide at least once in the year before the questionnaire, higher than the national average of 5%, with 3% requiring hospitalization. In 2015, nearly 500 young people committed suicide in California, with 23 of these being below the age of 14. Overall, suicides in California have nearly doubled from that at the start of the century, suggesting that mental health treatments need to be more proactive. Other evidence shows that children with mental health problems, such as anxiety, only receive treatment in 20% of cases.
Causes of teen depression
Part of the difficulty with getting treatment for teens is that parents often feel guilty about their child’s emotional state, and are reluctant to address it. There is, of course, also the feeling that children are far more sensitive than in the past. However, Time Magazine recently showed that the rise in teenage depression comes from a variety of sources that would make anybody anxious, depressed and sad. Firstly, social changes including the rise in the threat of terrorism and gun crime have made many people anxious, including teenagers. Secondly, teens are remotely connected to many people – and the two important parts of this sentence are “Remote” and “Connected”. Most teens feel the need to be liked and approved of by the people that surround them, but on the internet, they face a much larger population, some of whom are obviously antagonistic. They are also very remote from that population so that while they depend upon them emotionally, they may be frequently let down or feel betrayed by online friends. They feel close to these people, but don’t have any real chance to make a proper emotional connection with them. In this position, depression is hardly surprising.
Treating teens, including Teen Counseling for depression
The statistics show that it is very important to address the symptoms of depression in teens as soon as they begin. There is a range of treatments that may be used, including medication such as Zoloft or Prozac, but in most cases, these are best used when combined with a pro-active course of therapy, including family therapy, CBT and counseling. Teenagers may benefit from intensive counseling and therapy, like that offered by Insight Treatment. We provide outpatient counseling designed to help them work through their feelings and improve their behavior. If you want to make a difference to your teen today, contact us now at (800) 599-8820.