Unipolar depressive disorder in adolescence is common worldwide but often unrecognised. The incidence, notably in girls, rises sharply after puberty and, by the end of adolescence, the 1 year prevalence rate exceeds 4%.
The burden of depression is highest in low-income and middle-income countries. Depression is associated with morbidity, and heightens suicide risk.
The strongest risk factors for depression in adolescents are:
- family history of depression
- exposure to psychosocial stress
Factors that interact to increase risk through hormonal and perturbed neural pathways include:
- inherited risks
- developmental factors
- sex hormones
- psychosocial adversity
Depression in adolescence. Prof Anita Thapar et al. The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9820, Pages 1056 - 1067, 17 March 2012.
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