Depression in teenage girls is a serious mental health problem. Sometimes, we overlook the most obvious signs and symptoms thinking teenage girls are just being moody. But depression is real, anxiety is real, and teenage girls need help to get treatment.
Depression in teenage girls influences how their minds work. It affects their daily mood, mental and physical health, emotions, behavior. All these become major signs and play a role when it comes to their school performances and choosing their circle of friends.
Being upset and moody isn’t a temporary feeling, but a constant emotion of anxiety. It becomes a burden, which is why teens must reach out to their loved ones and seek help and treatment.
Depression in Teenage Girls is Sadly a Common Issue
The signs start appearing at an early age and later develop into anxiety which in turn becomes a problem so serious that treatment is needed. Statistics show higher numbers every year.
Parents must be vigilant when it comes to their teenage daughters. They must watch out for their girls during their teen years as they are more vulnerable and just starting to mature.
- According to a large study about children’s mental health in the United States, it was found that depression can start at the age of 11.
- 36.1% of girls in the US have been or are depressed by the time they turn 17 years old.
- According to a 2014 study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 17.3% of adolescents that had a major depressive episode and suffered from anxiety in 2014 were female.
- As for teenagers in total, 8.7% were 13 years old, 10.7% were 14 years old, 13.0% were 15 years old, 14.1% were 16 years old, 15.1% were 17 years old.
- The same study states that 2.8 million teenagers were depressed at some point in the past 12 months.
- Around 5% of teens suffer from major depression and anxiety at any one time.
- Depressed teens usually suffer from depressive episodes that usually occur once a year. 20-40% usually have more than 1 depressive episodes and 70% will have it before reaching adulthood. These episodes usually last around 8 months.
- Seasonal depression is another sign to look out for, which usually happens in wintertime. 2% of teens suffer from dysthymia, which is a long-lasting type of depression.
- Bipolar disorder is what depression and anxiety later develop into, and 15% of depressed teens are eventually diagnosed with the disorder.
- 30% of depressed teens later suffer from substance abuse. Less than 33% of depressed teenagers resort to treatment, but 80% can go through successful treatment.
All these numbers are signs that we must pay more attention to what depression in teenage girls can cause.
Signs of Depression in Teenage Girls Can Be Found in Anxiety, Mood Swings, Loneliness, etc.
People tend to miss signs of depression in teenage girls, which is why we should spread awareness on the matter and promote treatment.
Signs of depression in teenage girls are observed when it comes to their behavior at home, school, and social life. There are plenty of signs and symptoms, but they differ according to the severity and degree of the problem.
One of the first signs to watch out for are emotional changes. Signs of emotional changes include sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, frustration, anger, anxiety. Being irritated by minor things or crying out of the blue are considered signs.
Be careful when a teenage girl loses interest in engaging in everyday activities, slowly loses contact with family and friends. Constantly feeling guilty and worthless, developing a low self-esteem, frequently thinking about death and suicide are major signs.
Signs of depression in teenage girls can also be seen in their behavior. These include being frequently tired and having no energy, sleeping too much or not sleeping at all, eating too much or not eating at all, resorting to drugs and alcohol.
Their behavior can also be observed at school when they’re constantly absent from classes, have poor academic performance, frequently going to the school nurse due to unexplained body pains.
Appearance can also show us if they’re depressed if they neglect the way they look too often it is considered a sign. Having frequent conflicts with your family is another indication.
But, the biggest symptoms that cry out for help is when they suddenly act out and start developing risky behaviors: self-harming and suicide attempts. Teenage girls cry out for help without orally transmitting it. They are in desperate need of treatment.
After noticing all the signs, when is the right time to get treatment for anxiety and depression in teenage girls?
Treatment for anxiety and depression in teenage girls is more successful when it’s done as early as possible. First, you must reach out to someone: a loved one, a school counselor, a professional. Sharing your feelings is the first time to recognize that there’s a problem.
When going to a mental health professional, the most common treatment they resort to is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It is based on the combination of the basic principles from behavioral and cognitive psychology of a person who is constantly in a negative mental state.
During the therapy, teens are taught to set themselves free of the negatives patterns and to challenge their negative thoughts. Occasionally, parents are also involved in the treatment.
When anxiety and depression in teenage girls is severe, medication can be used as treatment. Antidepressants are the most common drugs prescribed. Others include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc. All these should be taken with the prescription of a doctor.
There is no simple way to cure depression. Teenage girls must be encouraged to, first of all, work on controlling their stress in order to boost their self-esteem and not be afraid of failure.
When you feel empty and worthless, talk to someone you trust. Reach out to your parents, siblings, best friends when you start feeling depressed. Seek treatment as early as you can to prevent the mental illness from getting worse. You are not alone.
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