Broadening the Awareness of Teen Depression

History and statistics alike depict that untreated depression among teens can have disastrous consequences such as drug and alcohol abuse, violence and, most concerning, suicide. The effects of untreated depression can be severely dangerous to its victim and its consequences can echo throughout entire communities. About 20 percent of teens will experience teen depression before they reach adulthood.

A teen suffering from depression is also at higher risk for other problems:
  • 30% of teens with depression also develop a substance abuse problem.
  • Teenagers with depression are likely to have a smaller social circle and take advantage of fewer opportunities for education or careers.
  • Depressed teens are more likely to have trouble at school and in jobs, and to struggle with relationships.
  • Teens with untreated depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to higher rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Teens with depression seem to catch physical illnesses more often than other teens.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, the third leading cause of death among teenagers.
  • 90% of suicide victims suffer from a mental illness, and suffering from depression can make a teenager as much as 12 times more likely to attempt suicide
What can you do? Recognize the warning signs and seek help!
  • Poor performance in school
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
  • Anger and rage
  • Overreaction to criticism
  • Poor self-esteem or guilt
  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Substance abuse
  • Problems with authority
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
Seek help immediately.  Do not wait for them to talk to you, refer them to a guidance counselor, doctor or local therapist. 80% of teens with depression can be successfully treated if they seek help from a doctor or therapist.

Response of Suffolk County

Long Island Crisis Center

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention