Adolescent depression is a major, pervasive and increasing problem with significant comorbidity. Treatment can be divided into acute, continuation and maintenance therapy and each of these stages should include psychoeducation.
- Depression is a relatively common disorder affecting up to 8% of adolescents, but the diagnosis can often be missed.
- Common comorbid conditions include anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder and substance abuse disorder.
- Risk of harm assessment should be a priority as experience of clinical depression contributes substantially to the risk of complete and attempted suicide.
- Psychotherapeutic intervention and antidepressant medication are indicated based on the severity of symptoms.
- Prevention strategies should include efforts to increase awareness as well as screening and early identification of depression in the community.