The public health concern of depression and suicide among teenagers has been receiving increasing attention in recent years. The World Health Organization states that suicide is the third most common cause of death for individuals between the ages 15 and 19. There are many treatments available for depression including antidepressant medications, psychotherapy or both. However, there is no evidence that psychotherapy will reduce or prevent suicidal behaviors in teenagers with depression. The purpose of this paper is to define depression in teens and provide an overview on the clinical presentation, complications and diagnosis. It will also include a PICOT Question.
Depression is an emotional disorder that results in feelings of hopelessness and sadness. It also causes a loss of interest for daily activities. This disorder can cause physical and mental problems. Suicide, on the other hand, is the act of intentionally ending one’s life. Depression can be a major risk factor in suicide. Individuals with depression may have an increased risk of suicide attempts or completion compared to those without.
Around 15% of teenagers will experience depression at one point or another in their life. In the United States the suicide rate for people aged between 10-24 years is 14,5 per 100,000. Individuals with depression are at a higher risk for suicide, and up to 60 percent of suicide deaths can be attributed to the disorder.
Presenting Clinical Presentation
Teenage depression can present in many ways. These include persistent sadness or hopelessness; irritability or irritation, a loss of interest or energy in certain activities; changes in weight or appetite, difficulties sleeping or feeling guilty or worthless. It may also manifest as feelings of guilt or shame, difficulty in concentration, or thoughts about suicide or death. The behavior of suicidal tendencies can manifest in many different ways. This includes verbal or writing expressions, as well as self-injurious behaviors or suicide attempts.
If depression is not treated in teenagers, it can cause a number of problems. These include academic difficulties, social isolation and substance abuse. It may also lead to suicidal behaviour. The result of a suicide attempt or completed suicide can be physical injuries or even death.
A thorough assessment of depression symptoms in teenagers, as well as family history and factors that increase the risk of suicide, is typically required to diagnose it. This evaluation can include physical exams, laboratory testing, and psychological tests. Suicidal behaviour can be diagnosed based on past behavior, suicide plan and intention, or even the presence of ideation.
The conclusion with the PICOT question
The public health issue of depression and suicide in teens cannot be overstated. Psychotherapy is often used to treat depression. However, it’s unclear if it will reduce or prevent suicidal behaviors in teenagers with depression. PICOT Question: Do teenagers with depression who receive psychotherapy, compared to those receiving standard treatment or none at all, have a lower incidence of suicide?