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03-24 Early intervention may help reduce adolescent depression, says study

Early intervention may help reduce adolescent depression, says study

Poor mental health among adolescents needs timely treatment or it can lead to other complications. The stigma attached to mental illnesses refrains the young population from sharing their problems or asking for help. The fear of social isolation culminates into shame, secrecy and conservativeness exhibited during social interactions that may aggravate if the much needed mental health services are not provided.

A recent study has suggested that teenagers with less access to health treatment options are more likely to plunge into depression compared to their peers who are in touch with mental health services. The authors of the study, titled “Reduction in adolescent depression after contact with mental health services: a longitudinal cohort study in the UK,” explained how the potential of being diagnosed with depression was seven times more in teenagers with no contact with service users in contrast to those who had been suffering from depression from the beginning.

‘Lows’ of depression needs timely treatment

As part of the study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry in January 2017, the researchers enrolled 14-year-old teenagers studying in secondary schools and their primary caregivers. The scientists observed the participants until they turned 17. The teenaged respondents informed about the signs of depression they experienced and the trained researchers examined the state of their emotional health and behavior.

The team observed that 11 percent of the respondents had a mental illness at the beginning of the research but only 38 percent of them were in touch with mental health services in the year before recruitment. The study also noted that access to mental health treatment facilities helped decrease the level of depression. It found that after three years of availing mental health service, the situation of the patients was equivalent to those who did not show symptoms of the disorder.

Elucidating on the findings, first author of the study Sharon Neufeld said, “Mental illness can be a terrible burden on individuals, but our study shows clearly that if we intervene at an early stage, we can see potentially dramatic improvements in adolescents’ symptoms of depression and reduce the risk that they go on to develop severe depressive illness.”

The observations underscored the importance of availing mental health treatment services for the young population to prevent deterioration of their psychological state. Young minds need help, which is evident from figures shared by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – 21.4 percent teens suffer from some kind of grievous mental disorder at some point in their lives. According to the Mental Health America (MHA), the condition of the mental health of American youth is worsening with the prevalence of youth depression jumping to 11.1 percent in 2014 from 8.5 percent in 2011.

The recovery of the youth depends a lot on early diagnosis and necessary interventions to help them cope with their psychiatric disorders. There is a need to recommend and ensure evidence-based training of psychological health providers in schools so that they may help the vulnerable young population to get rid of unwarranted fear associated with sharing details about their mental illnesses. Fear of backlash is a major hindrance to seeking help.

Road to recovery

At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego, we take extra effort to help the youth get rid of their mental health conditions. The treatment programs are comprehensive and address all kinds of mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, trauma, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and conduct disorders, among others. Health care practitioners customize the treatment options keeping in mind the specific needs of every patient. They also educate them about various coping mechanisms and stress management methods.

If any member of your family or a loved one needs help in overcoming mental illnesses, call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-615-7266 or chat online for more information about the mental health programs in California and mental health rehab centers in your vicinity.

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