Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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Need a Safety Net?

Concerned Parent?

Everyone talks about normal adolescents as having mood swings, but true depression always needs to be taken seriously. Experts now know that depression and suicide in this age group is alarmingly high. In fact, in the last thirty years, suicide among adolescents has tripled.

Young women in particular are at high risk for depression. In the Commonwealth Fund Survey (1997) researchers found that 26% of older girls had depressive symptoms compared with 17% of boys of the same age. The rate of suicide among younger girls ages 10-14 has tripled since 1980.

What is reassuring is that when depression in adolescents is recognized, there are professionals to help with a variety of new treatments, and that adolescents respond very well to this help. Early identification and treatment of depression lowers the chance of suicide attempts and the risk of suicide.

If you suspect that an adolescent may be depressed and experiencing more than the usual teenage behavior changes, then we encourage you to reach out and seek assistance.

Recognizing the "Warning Signs"
Studies show that many girls know they are depressed before their families do. Some of the symptoms of depression in adolescents can be subtle. Knowing the warning signs can be helpful, but no list is entirely complete, and your "gut reaction" that someone is in trouble, is in itself reliable enough to reach out for help.

Where can I go for help?

  1. Dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  2. Call your pediatrician, a psychiatrist, crisis center, mental health center or hospital.
  3. Call a hotline.

Keep reaching out until you get an immediate, satisfying response.

Others who may be able to help: a minister, priest or rabbi, a doctor, nurse, teacher, guidance counselor or therapist.

Adolescents who are clinically depressed are at a high risk for suicide attempts either during this time or later in life. Early detection and treatment can make a real difference and are of key importance.

Keeping connected in order to grow

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