According to a new study, it is not uncommon for teens who suffer from depression grow up and experience anxiety complications as adults. The study also found that of the kids who suffered from depression, the risk was even higher if the teens suffered from one or more other risk factors. The results of this study were reported in Development and Psychopathology.
The study was led by psychologist Chrystyna D. Kouros, Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Kouros sought to find out if the teens who suffered from depression were more likely to have a pessimistic outlook on life. They were also looking to see the effects on the teens if their mothers had a history of depression or anxiety. They learned that the depressed teens were more likely to suffer from anxiety in adulthood. This information suggests that doctors should be targeting depressed teens with those other risk factors when trying to treat them and hopefully preventing the anxiety from developing.
“Depression or anxiety can be debilitating in itself,” said Kouros, an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Psychology. “Combined, however, they are an even bigger threat to a child’s well-being. That’s particularly the case during adolescence, when pre-teens and teens are concerned about fitting in with their peers. Anxiety can manifest as social phobia, in which kids are afraid to interact with friends and teachers, or in school refusal, in which children try to avoid going to school.”
Depression treatments are much the same as anxiety treatments. Both conditions are treated with antidepressants like Paxil, which is an SSRI medication. Paxil is linked to increased episodes of violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior as well as birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug while pregnant. Some of the birth defects linked to Paxil use include PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects. These complications are why doctors are constantly looking for non-medicinal ways to help treat depression in women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.