A growing number of American teenagers – particularly girls – are facing depression

A growing number of American teenagers – particularly girls – are facing depression

Depression has become increasingly common among American teenagers – especially teen girls, who are now almost three times as likely as teen boys to have had recent experiences with depression. In 2017, 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% (or 2 million) in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. One-in-five teenage girls – or nearly 2.4 million – had experienced at least one major depressive episode (the proxy measure of depression used in this analysis) over the past year in 2017. By comparison, 7% of teenage boys (or 845,000) had at least one major depressive episode in the past 12 months.   The total number of teenagers who recently experienced depression increased 59% between 2007... Read more

Depression Symptoms in Teens: Why Today’s Teens Are More Depressed Than Ever

Depression Symptoms in Teens: Why Today’s Teens Are More Depressed Than Ever

After a decline in the 1990s, the number of young people that commit suicide has been increasing every year. While no one can explain exactly why, many experts say adolescents and teens today probably face more pressures at home or school, worry about financial issues for their families, and use more alcohol and drugs. “This is a very dangerous time for our young people,” Kathy Harms, a staff psychologist at Kansas City’s Crittenton Children’s Center, told the Portland Press Herald. “We’re seeing more anxiety and depression in children of all ages.” Why Are So Many Teens Depressed? Here are some disturbing statistics about teen depression. According to suicide.org, teen and adolescent suicides have continued to rise dramatically in recent years. Consider these alarming figures: Every 100 minutes a teen takes their own life. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. About 20 percent... Read more

Identifying the signs of depression in kids

Identifying the signs of depression in kids

There is a growing worldwide concern about depression and suicide among our youngest population, but the signs of depression in children can be different than those in teenagers and adults. Joan Luby, MD says that depression can arise as early as age three. Pandemic isolation, struggling with virtual schooling, and family-related stress all contributed to a rise in mental health concerns for children. According to mental health America, last year, more than 2.3 million kids suffered from severe depression. “The thing that we have to look for are age-adjusted manifestation of those symptoms,” Luby, explained. Symptoms of depression in youth include being persistently sad or irritable over several weeks, sleep disturbances, fatigue, no longer enjoying the things they use to enjoy, not being motivated to engage in activity, expressing negativity toward themselves or others, and discussing thoughts of death. The key to helping children fight off depression. Luby recommends parents... Read more

Ways to replace screen time for children

Ways to replace screen time for children

Today, many parents are struggling to curtail screen time and find alternate ways to engage their children. For many, the struggle is being able to coax their children to disengage from the screen. Now that online schooling has brought screens into the home, the magnet of online games and recreation seems to be consuming the hours of most children. Ironically, for parents the screen is an easy tool at their disposal that offers them moments of respite, but the addiction to screens by young children is not what most had bargained for. Most parents and caretakers are aware that children shouldn’t be given easy access to technology at such a young age. Yet, we are all guilty of doing so because we need to multitask, we are tired, and because children simply love it. It’s surprising to see that two-year-olds today can operate a smartphone probably better than I can.... Read more

Suicide attempts by children have spiked during the pandemic, especially among girls

Suicide attempts by children have spiked during the pandemic, especially among girls

Five years ago, if a child younger than 13 arrived at Maine Medical Center for treatment following a suicide attempt, it was rare and notable. It’s no longer rare. If your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, dial 911. For immediate assistance during a mental health crisis, call or text the Maine 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 888-568-1112. For any other support or referrals, call the NAMI Maine Help Line at 800-464-5767 or email helpline@namimaine.org. National resources are also available. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You can also contact the National Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Warning signs of teen suicide might include: Talking about suicide, including making statements like “I’m going to kill myself” or “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” Withdrawing from social contact Having mood swings Increased use of alcohol or drugs Feeling trapped,... Read more

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