Navigation Links
Depression Rates Rise for Girls During Teen Years

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of major depression skyrocket among young girls as they move through the already vulnerable period of adolescence.

According to new research, about 5 percent of 12-year-old girls experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, compared with 15 percent of 15-year-old girls, a threefold increase.

Some 1.4 million girls aged 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.

The information "is important for both prevention and treatment," said Richard McKeon, chief of the suicide prevention branch at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the government agency that released the report last week.

"Girls are experiencing major depressive episodes early, around the time of puberty, and this really points to the need for treatment," added Dr. Elizabeth Miller, chief of the division of adolescent medicine at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The report, based on a large national survey conducted annually to assess drug use and mental health, found that girls aged 12 to 17 were at triple the risk of experiencing a major depressive episode when compared to boys (12 percent vs. 4.5 percent).

It's unclear why these gender disparities exist, but they're probably due to multiple factors including biological vulnerability and, perhaps, the higher rates of sexual abuse among girls, Miller said.

"It's likely a number of different factors, including psychological, biological and social factors that may all contribute to some degree," McKeon said. "It is a time of great transition, a time of biological transition, a time of social change, so there are likely a number of different reasons."

And adolescent boys do experience depression, although not "at the same rate as adolescent girls," McKeon pointed out.

The report also revealed disparities in treatment according to age, with fewer girls aged 12 to 14 receiving treatment for major depression than girls aged 15 to 17.

This may be because major depression in younger girls may be mistaken for the typical mood swings of puberty, Miller said. When the symptoms persist, parents and teachers may start referring older girls for treatment.

A major depressive episode as defined in this report includes losing "interest and pleasure for two weeks or longer and other symptoms such as problems sleeping, eating, lower energy, difficulty concentrating," McKeon said.

The question then, is how to differentiate typical teenage turbulence from something more serious?

"You don't want parents to overreact. On the other hand, it's important they do not dismiss those signs," McKeon said. "If a mood persists and there are other associated signs like difficulty concentrating, difficulty functioning, loss of appetite or energy, that teenager may require additional help."

Miller believes that even initial signs of moodiness should be taken seriously and referred for early intervention.

"Early intervention may not mean medication," she stressed. "It may mean counseling, making sure the kid has more social support, offering more activities within the school that are promoting health and wellness."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on depression in adolescent girls.

SOURCES: Richard McKeon, Ph.D., chief, suicide prevention branch, U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Elizabeth Miller, M.D., Ph.D., chief, division of adolescent medicine, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; July 25, 2012, National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New research confirms efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression
2. Stroke caregivers are at risk for depression
3. Meta-analysis: Interventions improve depression in cancer patients
4. Spouses of severe-sepsis patients at high risk of depression, U-M study shows
5. Childhood adversity increases risk for depression and chronic inflammation
6. beyondblue Launches Depression & Anxiety website and Info Line for Men
7. New hospital guidelines to help mothers at risk of postpartum depression
8. Canadian teen moms run higher risk of abuse, depression than older mothers
9. Anxiety, Depression May Raise Stroke Risk
10. Obesity, Depression Blamed for Daytime Sleepiness Epidemic
11. Obesity, depression found to be root causes of daytime sleepiness
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Depression Rates Rise for Girls During Teen Years
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with ... for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, ... in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in ... around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s ... experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa ... contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal ... the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) ... — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. ... transform technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement of ... Innovative Design ... Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... --  Provista, a proven leader in the supply ... power, today announced a new resource area on ... is the online home for case studies, articles on ... releases, slideshows and events. ... at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short videos ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Korea , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based ... next-generation CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device ... compression during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to ... also offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression ... crowdfunding campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: