Research has revealed that teenagers and young adults are more vulnerable to depressive disorders. Now, a recent British study suggests that depression is more common among teenage girls than boys. The findings of the research indicated that roughly 25 percent of girls may exhibit symptoms of depression before they turn 14 years old.
For the Millennium Cohort Study, a group of researchers from the UCL Institute of Education and the University of Liverpool examined details of more than 10,000 children who participated in the study. The respondents were born between 2000 and 2001.
The researchers had asked the participants to self-report about their mental health when they were three, five, seven, 11 and 14 years. When the respondents turned 14, the researchers inquired the children about the condition of their mental health and various signs of the the depressive disorder. Evaluation of the results showed an estimated 24 percent girls and 9 percent boys afflicted with depression problems.
Assessing ubiquity of emotional problems during adolescence
The researchers adopted a comprehensive approach and assessed relationships between manifestations of the disorder and family income. It was observed that teenagers aged 14 belonging to the high-income group were less likely to show increased levels of symptoms of the disorder when contrasted with their peers coming from economically weaker families.
The study observed a rise in mental health problems from 7 percent in children aged 7 years to 12 percent by the time they reached 11 years old. Roughly 18 percent of teenaged girls aged 14 years showed symptoms of emotional health problems, including depression and anxiety, compared to nearly 12 percent of their male counterparts, underscoring psychological problems being more pervasive among female teenagers compared with their male counterparts.
The researchers also looked into the behavioral problems of both teenaged boys and girls. The observation revealed that behavioral problems, including fighting and acting rebelliously, had increased until they turned 14 years. Boys were found to be at a greater likelihood of suffering from behavioral problems throughout childhood and during their early adolescent years.
Commenting on the observations, study’s lead author Dr. Praveetha Patalay said, “In other research, we’ve highlighted the increasing mental health difficulties faced by girls today compared to previous generations and this study further highlights the worryingly high rates of depression.”
Though the findings indicate the proclivity of teenaged girls being more prone to depression than their male counterparts, there is an imperative need to conduct further research to understand the universality of the mental disorder among adolescents and factors contributing to it. Experts suggest factors like examination stress and body image perception could be responsible for the growing anxiety and consequently depression.
Help is just a call away
It is not easy to discuss about emotional disorders with teenagers. More arduous is the problem of convincing affected teenagers that they need help. The fear of backlash or the stigma of being labeled as mentally incapable refrains many teenagers from seeking necessary medical help.
Parents are often concerned about potential mood disorders in their teens. There is a need to educate such parents about the universality of such mental illnesses and the imminent need to avail necessary medical interventions. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego offers evidence-based treatment for teenage mood disorders. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat with one of our online representatives to know more about our residential mental health facilities for teenagers in your vicinity. One must not delay treatment or things can spiral out of hand.