According to new studies, depression in girls is found to be more rampant than depression in boys. New statistics reveal that depression in girls is twice the rate compared with boys. There are a variety of reasons for increased depression in girls and these reasons are starting earlier and earlier in development.
Unfortunately there are a few reasons that girls tend to have higher rates of depression, and these causes of depression are occurring in girls at an increasingly younger age. Based on a study from 5,596 high school students, about 9 percent suffer from either severe or mile depression. Similar studies of youth also reflect the same idea that youth of all ages are more prone to depression if they are a female. While depression early on in life is common, it often goes unnoticed. Many parents attribute these signs and symptoms of depression to typical behavior on the part of their child. Many girls and even boys with depression will exhibit signs of sadness or emotional ups and downs. Parents might think this is normal, but in some cases, the sadness and emotional turmoil is really considered to be a mild to severe case of depression.
Reasons for Depression in Girls:
There are several reasons why girls are more prone to getting depression than compared with boys of their same age. According to recent studies, girls around prepubescent ages are more likely to become depressed simply because they are more worried about their appearance. Girls undergo more physical changes than boys do and they struggle to emotionally adapt to these changes. Many girls become depressed because they define their self-worth by how they look. If they are not happy with the recent changes physically in their life, they are more likely to become depressed.
Another reason that can be attributed to causing depression in girls is the bullying or Mean Girl Effect. Many girls often turn on each other with taunts, teasing, hurtful words, etc. This is a form of bullying that can take place early on even among younger girls. These girls use negative and mean comments toward one another to help build up their own self-confidence. However, tearing one another down is just another reason depression in girls is becoming so rampant.
Other causes for depression in girls is a bit more simple and common place among anyone dealing with depression issues. Kids with parents going through a divorce, or the loss of a parent or loved one can be devastating for a child. They find they are unable to emotionally cope with the significant changes in their life and depression takes over. Many parents feel their girls or younger children will be able to bounce back easily from these negative occurrences, but that is not always the case. In many instances adults that are depressed or suffer from depression issues often find they have had problems with depression since childhood. Because of this negative trend carrying on throughout life, steps must be taken with these depressed girls and boys at an early age to help them grow up to become a happy and successful adult.
Warning Signs for Depression:
To take those early steps for treatment it is first to watch for the warning signs of depression early on to determine if your child is just going through a difficult patch or if they are truly depressed. In many cases with depression in girls, the self-esteem of the young girl or teen is the first to suffer. When young girls and teens first start talking about how they hate certain things about themselves, this is an early sign that their self-esteem is not where it should be. Low self-esteem is one of the biggest factors in the onset of depression. Other warning signs are of young girls acting out or rebellious. They might begin experimenting with drinking, drugs and promiscuity. Studies have reported that early instances of sexual experiences in young girls or teens is often a direct cause for low self-esteem and depression. Girls that are depressed will also show signs of withdrawing from activities they used to enjoy, apathy, poor academic performance, difficulty sleeping as well as struggles to act or behave happy.
Treatment for Depression in Girls:
Because early treatment is the best way to prevent the depression symptoms from worsening, it is important for parents to watch out for these depression warning signs in their young girls and teens. If they do suspect a problem that exceeds regular emotional struggles that everyone faces, it is important to get their child into some sort of therapy where they can meet with a trained child psychologist. Antidepressant medications are not prescribed as commonly with children and teens as compared with adults because some depression medications and antidepressants can have the opposite reaction in youth. It is important to consult your options with a mental health care provider to determine your options for your child.
Sources: webmd.com, nytimes.com