Depression is one the most common forms of mental health disorder that affects American adults. In fact, depression is one the leading causes of disability for patients between the ages 15 and 44, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Every year, more than 15 million American adults over the age of 18 are affected by symptoms of depression. While the disorder is more common among women than men, major depressive disorder can affect people regardless of their age, gender or race.
The median age of people with onset of major depressive disorder is 32.5-years old, yet nearly one in 11 teenagers and young adults experiences a major depressive episode in any given year, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health
The findings of the study, led by Dr. Ramin Mojtabail, come from an analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2005 and 2014, LiveScience reports. The data indicates that depression among adolescents and young adults has risen dramatically, especially among young women. Major depressive episodes affected 11.3 percent of adolescents in 2014, compared to 8.7 percent in 2005. A major depressive episode is characterized by persisting for two weeks or more.
Major depressive episode symptoms include:
- Feelings of Emptiness
The uptick of depression among young people was limited to 12 to 20-year olds, skirting the 21 to 25 age group, the article reports. However, the biggest takeaway from the study isn’t that there has been a rise in major depression among young people, but rather that the research team did not see alterations with mental illness treatment for young people. The researchers did not observe a rise in young people seeking treatment for mental illness, either. For treatments to be effective, they need to be adapted to target the population being affected. The authors write:
“The growing number of depressed adolescents and young adults who do not receive any mental health treatment for their [major depressive episode] calls for renewed outreach efforts.”
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
Young adults struggling with any form of mental health disorder are far more likely to develop unhealthy relationships with drugs and alcohol. This is because people will often drink alcohol and or use drugs to cope with their symptoms. Choosing to self-medicate one’s mental illness, can be a slippery slope leading to a host of problems that can complicate the severity of mental illness symptoms, such as addiction.
People with depression, or other forms of mental illness, often think that drugs and alcohol will mitigate the problems that accompany living with such disorders. However, self-medication is a far cry from meeting with mental health professionals and starting a regimen of antidepressants in conjunction with therapy. All too often, the people seeking help for addiction will also have a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety and/or depression. It is not uncommon for people with depression to develop a substance use disorder, because they attempted to treat their symptoms on their own.
Those who are struggling with addiction and a co-occurring disorder need to be treated for both conditions simultaneously, if recovery is to be achieved. At PACE Recovery Center, we specialize in treating young adult males with co-occurring disorders, otherwise referred to as having a “dual diagnosis.” Our experienced team of addiction counselors and professionals is fully equipped to provide a specialized plan of care when treating the patients’ co-occurring disorders. Successful outcomes are contingent on doing so. Please contact us today, to start the process of healing and addiction recovery.