Depression And Suicide Among Adolescents And Young Adults ?
Q: Many parents with young
children will have an older child entering puberty, or they will have
friends with older children, and of course their own children will be
entering adolescence in the not too distant future. Parents should learn
how to protect their children against the number three killer of
A:Unrecognized, or untreated clinical depression is at the root of most suicide attempts. Clinical depression affects 5-10 percent of the adolescent age group. Despite the prevalence of depression in our society, many people are unfamiliar with the signs of clinical depression especially in adolescents. However, with proper medical treatment, the symptoms of depression can be alleviated in 80-90 percent of cases. Signs of depression in adolescents -- Changes for the worse in personal habits - dirty clothes, messy room. -- Loss of interest in activities that once gave pleasure - music, sports, friends. -- Sudden irritability and/or anger for no particular reason. -- Changes in sleeping patterns - too much or too little. -- Eating problems - too much or too little. -- Use of drugs and/or alcohol. -- Obvious feelings of worthlessness. -- Problems concentrating. -- Talk of death or suicide. Many of the behaviors that can signal the onset of treatable clinical depression are mistakenly ascribed to "growing pains" or adjustment problems. The National Foundation for Depressive Illness (NAFDI) has initiated an Adolescent Outreach Program to target this disease in adolescents and young adults. Clinical depression is eminently treatable; 80 percent of sufferers obtain alleviation of symptoms with correct treatment. Everyone needs to know the signs of clinical depression in order to help others get the help they need. The checklist below is useful to see whether the advice of a professional is warranted. Please remember, only a psychiatrist can accurately diagnose an affective disorder.
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