Adolescence is a critical transitional period in which individuals
start exploring their identity and place in society. Adolescents who adjust
well to this new developmental stage tend to relate more positively to
themselves, their families, and their environment. Conversely, developing a
mental illness during this period can have serious negative effects on
physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual health that can
persist into adulthood.
Depression is the top cause of illness and disability for adolescents
(World Health Organization [WHO], 2017). Up to 25% of adolescents experience at
least one major depressive episode by age 18. However, only 20% of adolescents
with depression seek treatment, and fewer than 40% of those who receive
treatment are adherent. Untreated adolescent depression is a primary cause of
global disability and burden. Adolescents who experience depression and do not
receive proper treatment are at increased risk of suicide, substance abuse,
early pregnancy, low educational attainment, violence, recurrent depression,
and poor long-term health (National Institute of Mental Health, 2014).
Furthermore, adolescent depression usually follows a complex illness trajectory
that can drain a significant portion of the individual’s and family’s health
and resources. Therefore, early detection and appropriate interventions are
crucial for adolescents experiencing depression.
See this video on adolescent
depression produced by the World Health Organization: I Had
a Black Dog, His Name Was Depression! .
articles published on adolescent depression in Jordan: