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Boys, Girls, Don't Experience Depression Equally in Adolescence

Translational Psychiatry recently released a study which found that more teenage girls are depressed compared to teenage boys. The numbers were startling: thirty six percent of girls compared to thirteen percent of boys. Over 100,000 subjects were surveyed from 2009 to 2014 for The National Survey of Drug Use and Health for the study. Interestingly, The Washington Post notes, the survey was able to identify symptoms of depression in teens who had never been to a therapist or been diagnosed with depression. Depression in teens is often overlooked, for both boys and girls. Parents are quick to blame hormones and general teenage angst instead of looking beneath the surface of symptoms. Depression in teenagehood creates a higher likelihood for substance abuse in teenagehood and beyond. When depression goes untreated and undiagnosed, the symptoms still present and can often worsen. To identify symptoms of depression in teens, look to the descriptions below. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, your child might be struggling with depression and need a diagnosis.
  • Change in mood: Depression is commonly characterized through displays of low mood and low energy, like sadness, lethargy and a lack of motivation. Few parents are aware that depression can also be demonstrated through the opposite. Any significant change in mood which differs drastically from the norm could be a sign of trying to cope with the overwhelming emotions of depression.
  • Change in appetite: Depression can lead to bingeing on food to cope with emotions. Depression can also lead to a lack of appetite. When other changes are highly noticeable, the change in appetite can be one of the last things to change. Depression and a lack of appetite can lead to severe weight loss. Overeating in depression can lead to weight gain. For teenagers, a fluctuation in weight, coupled with the common low self-esteem experienced in depression, can lead to the development of eating disorders. It can also contribute to seeking out refuge in substances, which can also lead to weight changes.
  • Social isolation: Teens and adolescents are social beings. Social isolation is a sign that they are losing their connection to themselves and to their peers. Feelings like being unable to connect, having nothing in common with others or experiencing shame and guilt for having emotional experiences like depression are common.

Depression in adolescence can be treated. Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers residential treatment programs for adolescent boys. Our programs create comprehensive and customized care for each patient based on their unique needs. For information, call us today and learn how to get started.