Your teen could be depressed and you might not even know it

When young kids get temperamental, most parents just chalk it up to typical teenage behavior.   But new research suggests that some moodiness might need to be taken more seriously. Recently released government data concludes that depression in adolescent girls between the ages of 12 and 15 has tripled!

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which examined the span from 2008 to 2010, adolescent females suffer from depression at a rate nearly three times that of boys of the same age. Case in point? The percentage of girls in that age group who have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year has jumped 10 percent--a HUGE increase!


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Though I know I shouldn't be completely shocked at this news, given all of the horrible instances of bullying that have occurred lately, I am still definitely surprised. Obviously, the teenage years are full of awkwardness and self-consciousness for most…but actual depression in that many kids? It's really saddening to learn, especially since girls and boys should be enjoying their high school years, not feeling anxious or insecure.

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The whole thing just goes to show that parents should always keep a close eye on their kids' behavior and never underestimate how they really may be feeling. When I was a teenager, I always (well almost always) went to my mom with whatever problems or issues I might have had and not once did she make me feel like a silly kid. Instead, she listened to me, took me seriously, and helped me figure it out.

And though I didn't know it then, it actually really did help me make feel more comfortable with myself. Who knows? Chances are your kids will feel the same way!

How do you talk to your kids about their problems? Tell us in the comments below!

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Topics: child rearing  parents and children  raising daughters  teen issues  teenagers