Teen Depression, A Silent Killer

Gustabo Escamilla, Pro Writer

 Every 100 minutes a teenager takes their life. 20% of all teenagers suffer from depression before reaching adulthood. To show how deadly that could be, suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. Teen depression is a topic that has been addressed multiple times yet something that gets overlooked extremely often is the rate at which it’s dealt with. 

 

Every single year, the rate at which a child aged 6-17 gets diagnosed with either anxiety or depression increases yet it has never decreased. There’s a growing need for awareness when it comes to this topic. According to discoverymood.com, only around 30% of depressed teens receive treatment.

 

The main reason it’s nearly impossible to lower the death rate is because parents are usually naive to the symptoms and don’t see them. This statistic raises the concern of, what exactly happens to the other 70%? Ask Tracy Peter, the mother of a teenager who committed suicide. In an interview with the Portland Press Herald, Tracy Peter said, “As a parent, I didn’t notice the difference between depression and normal 15- and 16-year-old behavior until after the fact.” Her son killed himself at the age of 16 and she didn’t realize that he was depressed in the first place. In the same interview, she wondered, “What if I had recognized the signs?” This shows that she, as well as many other parents, actually cared about her child, but she was just blind to his problems.

 

Many depressed teens will still suffer from it and still be at high risk of committing suicide even after being diagnosed for a multitude of reasons. They usually continue to suffer for the rest of their teen life, leading into their adult life. This could lead to a lifetime of mental health problems with the only way out usually being death. Is that really what we want for this set of teenagers, a lifetime of suffering?