More adolescents on anti-depressants

POSTED: Friday, October 21, 2011 - 11:21am
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a new study that found 4 percent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 are on anti-depressants.

It also found that only one third of people with depression symptoms are being treated with medication.

This means an average middle school or high school class has at least one student on anti-depressants but even more students with depression.

And even though doctors are better at diagnosing it....

"More and more children are growing up in broken or dysfunctional homes, there is an increase in poverty, and there's probably some increase in people living under less than ideal conditions socio-economically, and all those things can contribute to depression," Psychiatrist Dr. Sean McCarthy said.

If you're concerned your teen may be suffering from depression there are some key signs to look for.

"The essential diagnostic feature of depression is just a bad or negative mood most of the time. Then after that we look for changes in basic levels of functioning like a change in appetite and a change in sleep patterns, a change in energy level or clarity of thought and concentration," Dr. McCarthy said.

The best ways to decipher what is depression and what are normal teenage changes?

"Getting to know that person. You really have to know that individual and ask them,"McCarthy said.

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