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08-10 Teen depression increases risk of violence, suggests study

Posted in Depression

Teen depression increases risk of violence, suggests study

There are many reasons that may cause a teenager to get depressed. Statistics suggest that depression is the most common mental health disorder among adolescents in the United States. While the effects of the disorder may be myriad like its causes, a group of researchers has suggested how teen depression may aggravate the risk of violence.

In a study titled “Depression and Violence in Adolescence and Young Adults: Findings From Three Longitudinal Cohorts,” the researchers put forth their observations post evaluation of the longitudinal relationship between symptoms of depression and resulting violence. They used details from three representative samples in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Finland. The study was published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Assessing relationship between depression and violence

The researchers observed a moderate increase in the risk of violence in cases of depression. In the Finnish sample, they found that 7.1 percent of depressed participants had been pronounced guilty for one or more violent crimes in contrast to 3.6 percent of the general population sans the signs of depression.

Analysis across various samples and measurements revealed a constant pattern of exacerbated relative risk of later violence. The researchers also observed in the Dutch and U.K. samples that a rise in the symptoms of depression was linked to an increase in the risk of violence later. In addition, the chances of violent behavior in individuals detected with symptoms of depression had gone up by two times when compared to those respondents sans depressive disorder in the Finnish sample.

Elucidating the findings, study’s lead researcher Dr. Rongqin Yu said, “Our longitudinal design allowed us to take into account previous violence, enabling us to test whether adolescent depression is associated with changes in violence over time. We found a consistent pattern of increased risk of later violence across samples. Both depression and violence are prevalent in adolescents and young adults; our findings indicate the importance of early detection and treatment of depression.”

The fact that adolescent depression can lead to violence accentuates the need for regular and timely treatment of the disorder among teenagers and young adults. The findings of this research are important considering that they prove how mental illnesses like depression, if left untreated, among young people can cause harm. In addition, the findings suggest the close and immediate relationship between crimes and depression and how treating depression early can go a long way in reducing the burden on the criminal justice system.

Be wise: Choose recovery

Depression among teenagers is common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2015, about 3 million adolescents, representing 12.5 percent of the U.S. population aged 12 to 17, had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Adolescents with depression may sleep excessively or have a change in eating habits. Some other common signs of depression in teenagers include difficulty in making decisions, irresponsible behavior, memory loss, rebellious behavior and withdrawal from friends, among others.

Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego’s adolescent treatment program for depression combines CBT, group and individual therapies to treat the person holistically. Our teenage mental health facilities conduct detailed patient assessment in addition to studying relevant genetic, social and environmental factors that may help explain the onset of depression in adolescent patients. Our clinicians assess each patient for all outward and underlying conditions. Based on this assessment, they construct a treatment program tailored to meet the patient’s individual needs. Call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representatives for more information about our mental health facilities for teens.

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