How Common Is Teenage Depression?


Quick Answer

A depressive disorder affects approximately 11 percent of adolescents by the time they are 18 years old, as reported by the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement. At any point in time, 10 to 15 percent of children and teens are depressed, states PsychCentral

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Full Answer

Approximately 25 percent of students in high school suffer a major depressive episode during high school, and the average age that this occurs at is 14. Although depression is treatable, less than a third of those with the condition seek treatment.

Girls are more likely to suffer from depression than boys, and the risk that depression develops increases as the child ages. Because children progress through various stages as they develop, determining whether a behavior change is a phase or a symptom of depression is difficult.

Although children and teens may exhibit symptoms of depression similar to those in adults, depression in adolescents may manifest as a refusal or reluctance to go to school, frequent complaints of not feeling well and sulkiness. Teens may be irritable, tired and restless, and they may feel as though nobody understands them. Their grades may drop, and they may get into trouble at school. They may begin abusing drugs or alcohol, develop an unkempt appearance, and gain or lose weight. When symptoms of depression continue or interfere with a person's life, professional intervention is required.

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