Depression in Teens

We can go back and forth about the things that are wrong with America. There might not be enough time in the day to get through our list of grievances; there would be too many agreements and disagreements. However, we are confident that there is one thing wrong with America that we can all agree on and that would be depression; it is an epidemic crippling the lives of many, many teenagers.

According to the latest statistics (, “In the United States, it is estimated that about 2.6 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 experience a depressive episode each year. This accounted 11 percent of the US population.”

Those are some scary numbers. If it were any other disease, it would be a plague demanding quarantine zones in various parts of the country. Sadly, authorities do not seem to take depression that seriously or else we as a nation would be funneling money into possible solutions. It begs the question, “Why not?” Who thinks that a landscape dominated by depressed teenagers swerving their way through growing up is a good thing? The answer is simple: no one in his or her right mind. There have been attempts to slow down the tide of depression, including many anti-depressant drugs – drugs like Paxil. As is always the case, these anti-depressants have their fair share of drawbacks and negative effects.

Lucielle Campanero writes, “In a previous clinical trial, researchers concluded that Paxil can be used for treatments of young adults with depressive behavior. However, a re-analysis showed that patients taking Paxil or paroxetine, an active component of the drug, can cause suicidal tendencies among depressed teenagers.”

This trial is in direct opposition to other trials that demonstrated Paxil as being safe and effective for the treatment of depressed teenagers. Therefore, the results are inconclusive. What gives? Anti-depressants can be a hit or a miss. The best and safest way to deal with teenage depression is to provide constant guidance in helping them cope with all the overwhelming challenges presented to them. We must be vigilant in recognizing signs of teenage depression. Once recognized, we must do all we can to remedy these signs. At Greenbrier Academy, we know what it takes to help troubled girls and take great pride in our therapeutic efforts.