Azara Blog: Lots of teenagers are allegedly depressed

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Date published: 2008/04/24

The BBC says:

Depression symptoms could be a problem for large numbers of teenagers, suggest surveys for the Children's Society.

More than a quarter of 14 to 16-year-olds questioned said that they frequently felt depressed.

A leading child psychiatrist said more support, and resources, for parents was essential to tackle the problem.

But one adolescent mental health specialist said children who described feeling sad, even regularly, may not actually have a depressive illness.

This is just another survey whose main reason is to promote the agenda of just another special interest pressure group. As with all surveys, the wording will have biased the result. But even if the result is accurate (or perhaps, understated, since some people wouldn't admit to being depressed), is it a problem? Teenagers have notoriously big mood swings, so it would be rather bizarre if a lot of them were not depressed at least some of the time. And is there really anything unnatural about this? And even if you believe this is a problem, will child psychiatrists make the situation worse or better? (Well, if you believe this is a problem, you might also have some misguided faith in the abilities of child psychiatrists to deal with it.)

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