Vast majority of depressed teens do not get needed psychiatric treatment

September 24, 2000

Damaging effects seen in early adulthood

Approximately 80 percent of depressed teenagers do not get necessary psychiatric medical treatment, a new study found. The study of 274 randomly-selected Oregon teens ages 14-19, who were monitored until age 24, found that overlooked depressed teens are likely to experience a repeat bout of major depression - and get involved in substance abuse - by early adulthood. The results are published in the October 2000 American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP), coincidentally timed during Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 2-7, 2000).

Especially at risk for a recurrence of major depression are depressed teenage girls who clash with parents; or any teenager who experiences more than one episode of depression, or who has a family history of recurrent depression.

"Knowing which teens are prone to recurrences might lead to prevention for some and early treatment for others," note the study authors, led by Peter M. Lewinsohn, Ph.D., of the Oregon Research Institute

The study found that by their 24th birthday, roughly one-fourth of formerly depressed teens experienced subsequent major depressive disorder; one-fourth experienced comorbid major depressive disorder; one-fourth remained free from depression recurrence but experienced a non-mood disorder, such as substance abuse, anxiety and eating disorders; and only one-fourth of the teens studied were free of illness by age 24.

"The fact that only 20 percent of depressed adolescents seen as part of this highly-structured, longitudinal follow-up study received some form of treatment strongly suggests that in community settings, the adolescent window of therapeutic opportunity is more likely than not missed," write Andres Martin, M.D., and Donald J. Cohen, M.D., in an accompanying editorial in the Oct. 2000 AJP.

"The early recognition of - and the development of effective treatments for - adolescent depression clearly should be a high public health priority," said Dr. Lewinsohn.
-end-
["Natural Course of Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder in a Community Sample: Predictors of Recurrence in Young Adults" by Peter M. Lewinsohn, Ph.D., et. al., p. 1584, American Journal of Psychiatry, October 2000.]

["Adolescent Depression: Window of (Missed?) Opportunity?" by Andres Martin, M.D., and Donald J. Cohen, M.D., p. 1549, American Journal of Psychiatry, October 2000.]

American Psychiatric Association

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.