More common disease than people think, depression Adolescent too often goes unnoticed. Its symptoms are often, wrongly, on behalf of the adolescent crisis. The first recommendations for better screening just been published.Contents of this article
- How do I know if my teen is depressed?
- Depression, a serious illness in adolescence
- How to treat depression in adolescence?
Often confused with the crisis of adolescence, depression affects about 8% of young people between 12 and 18 years. It affects twice as many girls than boys.
To make the diagnosis, we must distinguish the moods associated with changes of puberty and persistent depressive symptoms: intense sadness, feelings of autodévaluation, inability to experience pleasure, morbid ideas and sleep disorders.
Diagnosis is more difficult to establish that the teen is reluctant to see, considering that you can not get sick at his age!
The signs that can alert families
The fact that the symptoms are part of the term with a "impact on the lives of adolescents' is an element to take into account, emphasized the Health Authority in the first recommendations issued in December 2014 on this pathology.
The depressed teen may mask the symptoms of the disease by attitudes of rebellion and refusal. Irritability becomes constant aggression and boys may violent behavior.
The downtrend in taking the face of a school unexplained refusal of a withdrawal into the computer and video games, or it leads to a fugue.
A gateway to addiction and anorexia
For some boys, one finds untreated depression behind many addictions: the alcohol and drugs. They also explain many risk taking: speed on two wheels, dangerous paris ...
For some girls, depression can become a gateway to anorexia rejection by the body and detestation of self-image. Similarly, girls who multiply somatic complaints should alert the general.
Depression may also be an input mode in bipolar disorder.
Suicide is the second cause of death between 15 and 25 years. Although they are not all related to proven depression, it takes its share in the 500 suicides of teenagers and the thousands of annual attempts in France.
Antidepressants are strictly not recommended as first-line in children and adolescents by the HAS. These drugs worsen the risk of suicide among young people and / or aggressive behavior. Their prescription is reserved for exceptional cases and preferably under the authority of the psychiatrist.
Psychotherapy is the treatment of choice
The GP may encourage the young to engage in psychotherapy, explaining that he has a real disease and can be treated. The doctor will then send the teenager to a specialist.
We must quickly try to assess suicide risk and counter the offering if needed emergency hospitalization. The physician should not neglect either the potential for physical, psychological or sexual abuse in the family, the city or school.
Psychotherapy remains the treatment of depression in the teenager. To consider possibly in the form of a family or, more generally systemic therapy.
Who to contact?
In general first line to the diagnosis. He can then direct you to: