Major Depressive Episode and Treatment among Adolescents

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U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Less than half of the estimated 2 million American youths who experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) during the previous year were treated for their depression, according to data from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Defined as a period of two or more weeks during which a person has a depressed mood and at least four other symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or eating, MDEs were experienced most frequently by youths with poor overall health, and affected females more than twice as often as males.

About two-fifths of youths received some form of treatment for their depression. Treatment included psychotherapeutic sessions, medication or both. Those adolescents with no health insurance were less than half as likely to receive treatment as those youths with Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or private health insurance. Free, four pages. (877) 726-4727,