Six months ago, 17-year-old *Katie became quieter at school, withdrawing from friends for fear of saying the wrong thing and stumbling over her words. These feelings developed into depression with feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, and have stunted her social development. Twenty-year-old *Samuel was a straight-A college student until last fall when the stress of managing his studies, work, friends and family became intense and uncontrollable. Feelings of anxiety overwhelmed him frequently. Samuel found himself perpetually exhausted and struggling to concentrate until it became necessary for him to take a leave of absence from the University. While these individuals are now receiving needed help, they are just two of many cases in which early intervention may have provided a decrease in painful life experiences.
Depression in teens and young adults doesn’t consist of just moodiness and bouts of sadness or melancholy. Major Depressive Disorder is a serious problem that has the potential to affect many aspects of an individual’s life. While many well-adjusted adults have trouble learning how to deal with depression, it is even more difficult for teens and young adults. Left undiagnosed or untreated, depression in teens and young adults can lead to serious, harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse, promiscuity, self-injuring or mutilation, violence, or even suicide.