Depression in Teenagers

Dear readers, I saw a readable article that written by the editor in October issue of American Journal of Psychiatry , one of the most...


Dear readers, I saw a readable article that written by the editor in October issue of American Journal of Psychiatry, one of the most respected magazines in psychiatry.

The editor said that, he doesn’t have enough research and information about depression in teenagers and children, according to recent researches, depression in teenagers is undiagnosed, he tries to be stimulant about the problems that may arise when it is not being treated and he invites researchers to do research on this subject. I think it is useful in terms of warning the readers, so I translated shortly and I bring it to you. Best regards.

DEPRESSION IN TEENAGERS


Andres Martin and Donald Cohen 


(Adolescent depression window of –missed?-opportunity; Am J of psychiatry 157:10, page 1549-1551, 

October 2000)


One of the most common psychiatric disorders in young people is major depression. If it cannot diagnosed and treated, it may increases tendency of using drugs in patients, decreases school success, disrupts social harmony of person and most important thing, it may increase the risk of suicide. Researches show that, the rate of repetition of depression at a young age is higher than the rate of repetition of depression at an advanced age. For all these reasons, diagnosing and treating depression in teenagers is important. Previously, side effects of antidepressant pills that used in psychiatry had disturbed patients' compliance with treatment. However today, the depression treatment pills that used are easier to use because of the few side effects. According to researches which are made in America, depression is difficult to diagnose and the number of patients who are treated is very few. I don’t know any extended research about this topic in our country. However, according to my clinical observations, rate of admission to doctor and treatment is very low in our country too. 

The risk of drug dependence is reduced with the recognition and treatment of depression in young people, according to Lewinson’s and his friends’ articles. Other researches that is made about this subject are show similar results. According to other research that is made by Birmaher and his friends, average development period is four years in young patients who suffered from depression. However, there is no rule about; every young patient who suffered from depression will use drugs. The research shows that, depression patients are under risk of drug dependence much more than others and there are other facts about drug dependence. Personal appearances, family structure and social factors are effective on drug dependence at least as effective as depression. When the patients are treated by consider these impressive factors, the risk of substance addiction increase and the emergence of other mental illnesses can be reduced.

The depression which may see in teenagers is more resistant than depression that may see in adults. In young depression patients who are treated with pill treatment, repeats 39% within the first year. In half of these patients, especially in the first 6 months, the disease recurs. Therefore, new treatment options should be developed.

It is important that, following patients who have tendency about depression by specialist doctors. The features that increase the likelihood of having depression in young people are: Having depressed individuals in the family, being in constant conflict with parents, being depressed before, and showing some behavioral disorders etc. Depression in females is more common than males. Depression in young people may not be seen with typical symptoms as adults. Diagnosing is so difficult because of depression may show many different symptoms. Drug treatment of depression in young people is often not enough. Beside of them, psychotherapy and family discussions are gained importance.

The number of researches about this subject is very few. More extensive research is needed.

Sources: 
• Lewinsohn PM and friends (2000) Natural course of adolescent major depressive disorder in a community sample: predictors of recurrence in young adults. Am. J Psychiatry 157:10 p: 1584-1591. 
• Birmaher B and friends, Childhood and adolescent depression: a review of the past ten years, part I, J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1996; 35:1427-1439. 

December 2000

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