Based on the latest scientific findings, a comprehensive guide to the diagnosis and treatment of teenage depression.
Each year thousands of American teenagers are diagnosed with clinical depression. If ignored, poorly treated, or left untreated, it can be a devastating illness for adolescents and their families. Drawing on her many years of experience as a pychiatrist working with teenagers, Dr. Maureen Empfield answers the questions parents and teens have about depression, providing detailed information on:
*Identifying the different types of depression
*How depression is diagnosed
*Which teenagers are most at risk
*The effect of depression on other teenage problems
*How depression is treated and by whom
*The drugs used to treat teenage depression - what they are and how they work
*When a teenager needs to be hospitalized for depression
Understanding Teenage Depression provides the latest scientific findings on this serious condition, and the most up to date information on its treatment. The book includes numerous vignettes drawn from Dr. Empfield's clinical practice as well as first person accounts from teenagers who have themselves suffered from depression. Understanding Teenage Depression is a book that anyone who's been touched by this disease - whether parents, teachers, family members or teens themselves - will find invaluable.
Psychiatrist Empfield and coauthor Bakalar present an informative summary of the causes and treatments of adolescent depression, a problem that is on the rise. Since the 1950s, the suicide rate among all teenagers has increased by almost 25% (even higher for black male adolescents); it is the third leading cause of adolescent deaths, just behind car accidents and homicides. They discuss the importance of understanding and addressing depression, a potentially devastating illness that can damage teens' developmental progress and affect their ability to attend school, maintain friendships or pursue everyday tasks. Noting that many medical disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of depression and that some depression indicators sleeping a lot, moodiness or changes in weight are common in normal teenagers, they outline the ways in which clinical depression is diagnosed. Empfield and Bakalar discuss risk factors, such as a depressed parent, as well as the issue of suicide (including a list of warning signs). The authors emphasize that depression is a treatable illness. Finding the right therapist and prescribing effective medication is crucial, since untreated depression can leave lasting emotional scars and may lead to more frequent and more severe episodes of depression in adulthood. This is a comprehensive and informative book on an urgent public health matter. (Sept. 14)