According to http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/depression-information/teen-depression/
"What we are seeing are changes in society where basic needs for companionship, healthy goals, responsibility, connection to others, and meaning are not automatically met. Children, adolescents, and teens are fed a constant diet of images showing how we are meant to look, sound, and be, and told that this is important in life. Meaning is attached to what they have, or look like, rather than what they do, or achieve.
Regardless of our own affluence, we see what those at the 'top' have and are told we should have it too, without thought for the tools or strategies to go about achieving it. During childhood, teenage years, and particularly adolescence, pressure to conform with peers can be almost intolerably strong. If children feel different, inadequate, or deprived in some way, then depression may result, depending on how they deal with it.
While the triggers or causes of teenage depression may not appear as major events to many adults, it is the sufferer's perception. . . " (see my blog from September 14th on perception) ". . . that is so important.
How important these triggers are to the sufferer is all too evident in the statistics below.
Teenage Depression and Suicide
- Suicide amongst teenagers & young adults has increase 3 fold since 1970.
- 90% of suicide amongst teenagers had a diagnosable mental illness, depression being the most common.
- In 1996 suicide was the 4th biggest killer of 10 to 14 year olds, and the 3rd biggest killer of 15 to 24 year olds.
It is clear that not only are young people becoming more depressed, they are responding to this depression by killing themselves. The high rate of suicide may be due to the intense pressures felt by teenagers, coupled with a lack of life experiences that tell them that situations, however bad, tend to get better with time. They are also less likely to possess more subtle thinking styles, being prone to the more extreme, 'all or nothing' style of thinking."
If your child or teen is exhibiting signs of depression seek help from a professional, don't assume they will grow out of it, and don't assume they are fine just because they say they are.