Friday, April 04, 2008

Help-seeking behaviour and depression in adolescence

It is widely recognised that adolescence is a developmental period with fluctuating levels of psychological distress often in the form of depression and anxiety. Seeking appropriate help for these psychological problems before they become severe can reduce adolescents' risk for developing more severe psychological problems such as suicidal thoughts. However, only about a third of young people with mental-health problems receive professional mental-health care. One reason for this is a phenomenon called help negation in which people become more withdrawn and less likely to seek help from others as they become more depressed. A study of 1,766 children between the ages of 12 and 18 in Australia found that the more depressed children were the less likely they were to seek help from their parents. The researchers found a 'consistent trend for students to report being more likely to seek help from no one as depressive symptoms increased'.

Wilson, Coralie Joy, Rickwood, Debra and Deane, Frank Patrick - Depressive symptoms and help-seeking intentions in young people Clinical Psychologist November 2007, 11(3), 98-107

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