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Depression in adolescents is serious. This is partly because young persons experience extremes of emotional intensity and have inadaquately developed coping skills. Coupled with the impulsivity frequently seen in adolescents, this can be a very unstable time. If depression is not recognized and treated, it may last months or years. Severe cases of depression may lead to suicide.
Many normal adolescents are easily offended, moody and frequently argue with their parents. A depressed teenager also displays these behaviors, but more so. Because all teens show different degrees of this type of behavior, real depression may not be recognized. Parents, teachers and other adultsmay dismiss the troubled teen as displaying normal behavior.
Depression among teens is common. Two to three percent become depressed each year. It occurs more in females than in males and in teenagers whose parents have psychiatric problems. Depression is more likely to occur if a young person has been through a very stressful event such as a parents divorce or the death of a loved one. However, many teens become depressed without going through a serious stressful event.
Signs of adolescent depression are:
If you or someone you know appears to suffer from adolescent depression, call for help.
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