Singer Rihana after Being Abused by Boyfriend
President Obama has declared the month of February as “Love is Not Abuse”
Love is Not Abuse
The purpose of this action is to promote better understanding of the violence that could occur in relationships among young people. It’s hard to believe but each year almost 25% of teens report being the victim of verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual violence. Abusive relationships can impact adolescent development, and teens who experience dating violence may suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences. Adolescents in controlling or violent relationships may carry these dangerous and unhealthy patterns into future relationships.
Although this is a pervasive problem, many teens are understandably afraid to talk openly about the issue and they may not recognize how serious the problem is. At the same time, adults at times are also uncomfortable talking about the problem or even acknowledging it.
To help stop abuse before it starts, mentors and community leaders must stress the importance of mutual respect and challenge everyone to talk more about the issue. Teen dating violence is a serious issue and one that cannot be ignored. In declaring this month, President Obama is encouraging concerned teens, parents, and loved ones to contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or visit www.LoveIsRespect.org to receive immediate and confidential advice and referrals.
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Each year, approximately 2 million youths between the ages of 12 and 17 have at least one major “depressive episode” and about 40% of them actually receive treatment. Still, even though someone has been treated for depression, it is possible that the depression may come back. And, in most cases when that happens, it is more likely to come back if you are a young girl.
I just learned this when I read about a new study which analyzed 196 teens who were treated for depression, the average age being fourteen. At random, these kids either took the anti-depressant fluoxetine, received behavioral therapy, took the drug and had therapy or took a placebo. Over a five year span, 96% of the teens were deemed symptom free. However, in that time, about 47% had a recurrence of depression, girls more often than boys (57% vs. 33%).
Yes, I know this is just one study and maybe the size of the group is not as comprehensive as one would like.
But I bring this to your attention because about ten years ago my son was treated for depression. While in the fifth grade, he started to throw up every day before school (even though he was an excellent student). Fortunately, a school counselor noticed the symptoms and we sought professional help. He ultimately went on Lexipro. It was a very disconcerting episode and my spouse and I were total basket cases. I am thrilled to report that today he is an amazing 18 year old kid who is number ONE in his high school class. As for college, he is looking at Harvard, Columbia University or the University of Virginia. He is President of his senior class. Sure, he’s a little anal at times, but not one is perfect. The point is if you suspect you’re suffering from depression or you know someone who may be, get professional help right away. Don’t screw around.
Meanwhile, the study I referred to will be available online on December 1 at www.archgenpsychiatry.com.
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