Is depression possible in young adults? Not until recently doctors thought that kids were not prone to depression. They thought that depression was purely an "adult" disease. Nowadays, every doctor knows that a child could be depressed too. The causes of adolescent depression and treatment outcomes were explored in the article by Pat Wingert and Barbara Kantrowitz "Young and Depressed" that I will discuss.
This article illustrates a couple of real-life stories of teenagers who faced depression and had to somehow deal with it. One of the teenagers, Brianne, described how she tried to kill herself because she was so depressed. She described her mental state by saying: "It was like a cloud that followed me everywhere. I couldn't get away from it." She started drinking and experimenting with drugs. At a certain point, Brianne could not take it anymore. Once, she was caught shoplifting at a store and after her mother brought her home, Brianne swallowed every single Tylenol and Advil that there was in the house. She was rushed to the hospital and survived. Brianne has been treated for her depression and is now in college and leads a very healthy lifestyle. She is one of the lucky kids that survived, but a lot of times, when depression in kids goes unnoticed, the outcomes are very tragic.
Until about ten years ago, children's mood swings and irritability were considered nothing but a phase that kids go through and would eventually outgrow. It has been proven that if depression in teenagers goes unnoticed and, therefore, untreated, the children gradually will turn to doing drugs ("self-medication") and consuming alcohol, will drop out of school, will become promiscuous, and for a lot of them it even might lead to suicide. .
The adolescent depression is basically treated as the adult depression. Unfortunately, most of the antidepressant drugs are still not approved by the FDA for children under 18 years old.