Week 2: Insight Into Risk Factors Of Major Depression
Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog!
This week, I want to share some information about major depression in adolescents and the protective factors that can prevent it. Major depression is a severe mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be particularly challenging for adolescents still developing emotionally and coping with life changes.
Upon finishing the major depression in the population course on this topic, I learned that having a supportive family environment and a confidant to talk to about problems are crucial protective factors in preventing major depression in adolescents. A study has found that women are more likely to be affected by the absence of a confidant. Protective factors work like a shield against major depression, making it less likely for adolescents to experience depressive symptoms.
Unfortunately, recent data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that teenage girls in US high schools have experienced record-high rates of depressive symptoms. Approximately 60% of adolescent girls reported hopelessness and persistent sadness in survey data collected in 2021 compared to 26% in 2011. This is alarming, as untreated depression can lead to long-term negative consequences such as social isolation, academic difficulties, substance abuse, and suicide. Further analysis in the report states that school connectedness and a stable household is crucial for teenagers’ mental health.
In conclusion, while it is essential to understand the risk factors associated with major depression, we should also focus on protective factors that can help prevent it. Adolescents must feel supported, heard, and understood by their families and friends. We should all strive to create environments where young people feel comfortable seeking help and support when needed.
Kendler, K. S., Myers, J., & Prescott, C. A. (2005). Sex differences in the relationship between social support and risk for major depression: a longitudinal study of opposite-sex twin pairs. The American journal of psychiatry, 162(2), 250–256. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.162.2.250 U.S. Teen Girls Experiencing Increased Sadness and Violence. (2023, February 13). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/p0213-yrbs.html