It is often stated that teens have no real worries, but a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report disputes that claim. According to WHO, “depression is the predominant cause of illness and disability for both boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years.” In fact, suicide is the third most common cause of death in teens behind traffic accidents and HIV/AIDS.
It is true depression is a complex and hidden disease, which explains why it gets less attention than accident and HIV prevention. In half of adult mental illness cases, initial symptoms began by age 14 but went undetected and untreated. However the factors that make the illness hard to detect are the same factors that can trigger mental health problems.
“Violence, poverty, humiliation, and feeling devalued can increase the risk of developing mental health problems,” according to WHO.
Yet, those living amid poverty or violence are unlikely to have access to services for diagnosis and treatment.