Child Wellness: Teens and depression
Teenagers and suicide. The statistics are alarming. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, for every teen suicide death, experts estimate there are 10 other teenagers have attempted it. Marcie Fraser has more.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
"It seems like teen depression is on the rise. I think it's a product of social, cultural factors. The media exposure and expectations for being perfect,” said Dr. Manny Cirenza.
According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, one in 12 teens had attempted suicide in the last year. Factors that increase the risk for a suicide include a sense of depression or feelings of loneliness, the use of alcohol or drugs, a family history of abuse, suicide or violence, being bullied, previous suicide attempts from a recent loss such as a death, break-up, or parents’ divorce or illness.
Depression often requires counseling and sometimes medication.
Cirenza said, "Using medication in the right circumstances is something that is helpful. You just have to be careful who you are using them with and monitor those kids when they are on those types of medications."
Teen girls are more likely to attempt suicide, but teenage boys are four to five times more likely to die by suicide.
What are some signs your teen may be depressed?
"The boys might more apt to get in a fight or get in trouble and girls withdraw more socially," Cirenza said.
Statistics indicate that eight out of 10 teenagers who commit suicide reached out in some way for help before they did it. As a parent, it's your responsibility to keep the lines of communication open.
"How to get your child to open up, is to really open up to them yourselves and let them know your fears, your worries, your anxieties and the things that making you sad and depressed are and I think if you use that as an opening. Very often they will respond to that, 'ok I can see how that makes you feel sad, let me tell you what makes me sad," Cirenza said.