. Mental Depression, despite enormous efforts and research, is yet to be fully understood and effectively treated. Currently, the mental health field possesses advanced means to effectively address mental depression with both medication and psychotherapy. In spite of this, the number of new cases being diagnosed each year continues to increase at a high rate, especially among the younger population, where the over-riding emphasis is on pills instead of counseling.
The causes and evolution of depression in young people is significantly different then adult depression. Left untreated and undiagnosed, the disorder is associated with high psychological and financial costs. When depressed children reach adulthood, they often have a lower income (losing approximately $ 10,400 per year in income), have less years of education than the non-depressed ones, and have a lower probability of getting married. Also, their medical costs are higher than those that did not suffer from depression and are high utilizers of medical services. The annual cost of a depressed person exceeds non-depressed individuals by $ 686 to $ 4,635 with pharmaceutical and outpatient costs representing the two most expensive components.
Unfortunately, the treatment methods used to address young people is based more on the clinical experience of working with adults which is misleading and harmful. Furthermore, the research on anti-depressants increasingly shows that it carries long-term negative debilitating effects on adolescents.. The pharmaceutical industry claims that depression is due to a neurotransmitter (chemical) imbalance and that their medication is able to balance the brains chemistry. However, pharmaceutical companies dismisses growing evidence that it is actually their medication which causes the chemical imbalance, and the more an individual is on an antidepressant, the higher the probability of the disorder becoming chronic, and increasing the risk of relapse when the medication is halted.
There is an increased body of empirical evidence documenting that medication is useful only for severe forms of depression and for brief administration. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry considers that psychotherapy is the appropriate treatment for all depressed children and adolescents while pharmacotherapy should be recommended solely to those with severe and psychotherapy resistant symptoms.
Currently, there are various form of psychotherapy effective in treating depression among the young population and significant efforts are invested in means to prevent this disorder from occurring. These forms of intervention seek to change cognitive and behavioral characteristics in the adolescent personality through a rational/optimistic thinking style, self-regulation, problem-solving, social, and coping skills as well as help them manage and prevent symptoms from reoccurring.