Depression in young people

Everyone goes through tough times at different points in their lives. Feeling sad or fed up is a normal reaction to these experiences.
Youth Mental Health Depression
However, at other times young people may feel sad or fed up for no obvious reason.

It can happen to any of us

Anybody can suffer from depression. It happens in people of all ages, races, income levels and educational levels.

But, young females are twice as likely as young males to be diagnosed as clinically depressed.

Sadness or depression

It can be difficult to tell the difference between normal sadness and depression in young people. Sometimes we can think low moods are down to teenagers just being teenagers and teenage moods.

If your son or daughter is a teenager or in their twenties:

  • how long the emotions and behaviour has lasted.
  • are the emotions there all the time or coming and going?
  • are these feelings having an impact on your son or daughter’s daily lives, including school or college, work, relationships and physical health?

Emotions such as sadness or certain behaviours such as being overly tired, for more than two weeks, can indicate an issue with depression.

Longer-lasting depression

The term clinical depression is used to describe more severe and longer-lasting feelings of sadness or low mood.

People who are diagnosed as clinically depressed have a combination of some of the following:

  • depressed mood most of the day
  • changes in sleeping pattern
  • weight changes
  • reduced energy
  • excessive feelings of guilt
  • poor concentration
  • thoughts of death or loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities.

Clinical depression can first appear in adolescence or early adulthood. It has been reported that one in every five adolescents are likely to experience a diagnosable depressive episode by 18 years-old.

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