Girls and Depression – Take it Seriously!

Teen Depression

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

4 thoughts on “Girls and Depression – Take it Seriously!

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  1. I think many of us are depress and don’t know it, but I don’t think that medication is always the answer. This country is overmedicated.

    1. You’re right, Maria, medication is not always the answer. Every person needs to do what is best for them. In the case of my son, we believe that the combination of medication and counseling really pulled him out.

      And, yes, we’re overmedicated. Right now I take four pills every night!!!!

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