Infographic: What Happens to Depressed Adolescents?

April 24, 2014

The high rate of recurrence of depressive symptoms and ongoing psychosocial challenges point to the need for a longer-term view of the management of adolescents with depressive disorders.

DiscussionDepressive disorders are among the most common psychiatric diagnoses to emerge during adolescence. They can have a profound effect on key developmental tasks, such as educational achievement and social functioning. In a recent study, Melvin and colleagues1 looked at the longer-term clinical and psychosocial outcomes of depressive disorder in early adulthood.The study assessed 111 persons aged 17 to 24 years who had received a diagnosis of unipolar depression in adolescence (12 to 18 years). Almost 93% of the participants had full remission of the initial depressive symptoms. However, the risk of recurrence increased steadily: about 19% experienced a recurrence within 2 years, and approximately 40% had a recurrence within 4 years.For more information, please see "What Happens to Depressed Adolescents?," by Glenn A. Melvin, PhD, on which this infographic is based.Related content:Treating Adolescent Depression With Psychotherapy: The Three TsOpportunities and Challenges in Treating Adolescents and Young Adults with Major Depressive Disorder

References:

1. Melvin GA, Dudley AL, Gordon MS, et al. What happens to depressed adolescents? A follow-up study into early adulthood. J Affect Disord. 2013;151:298-305.