BETHESDA, Md. — Early detection of depression among adolescents is critical for early intervention and suicide prevention, according to a study.
The results of the survey-study show a growing body of evidence underlining the significance of adolescent depression. The study focused on regional community studies and national surveys focusing on depressive episodes in adolescents, specifically major depressive disorder, or MDD.
Findings were published in the January edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. About 40 percent of them are attributed to major depression, and in adolescence depression rates increase substantially between 13 and 18 years of age.
Data was obtained from adolescents who took part in the National Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent Supplement, a group of researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health’s Intramural Research Program said.
Of concern is a large portion of the adolescents with severe major depression in the study reported a history of suicide attempts, but many had not received care in either the medical or mental health sectors.
The prevalence of MDD increased significantly across adolescence, with markedly greater increases among females than among males.