Teen Depression in America: The Very Hard Facts (and Hope)

How do I know if my teenager is depressed

Way too many of our teens are hurtin’ cowgirls and cowboys. Hmmm, let me see: media madness (social and otherwise), peer pressure, adrenaline-gushing anxiety, the substance du jour, broken homes, living in a chaotic and dangerous world, and God only knows what else. I’ll guarantee I’m not scratching my head over the prevalence of teen depression. You?

So I get an email a week ago from staff at Rawhide, a faith-based charity in Wisconsin that offers residential care and outpatient mental health services to at-risk youth and their families. The writer had just published an infographic on teen depression in America and simply wanted me to take a look and offer an opinion. Yeah, no push to feature it on Chipur, which was refreshing – just wanted me to take a look.

Know what? I did. And I liked it so much, I knew I had to share it with you. The infographic is featured in an article on Rawhide’s blog entitled Teen Depression in America – Troubling Statistics & Trends. Be sure to read it because it provides some great info. And while you’re there, navigate about, as did I. Rawhide has a lot of very cool things going-on.

Alrighty, then. I’m going to wrap-up my portion of the post and let the infographic take us home. Such important information to have at our fingertips. And why not pass it around? I mean, let’s make sure our teens get the help they so desperately need, and deserve!

Oh, almost forgot. Posted Our Teens Are Hurting and Dying | They Deserve a Lot More EMPATHY several months ago. It details a Canadian school pilot program that has kicked a dent in teen depression, anxiety, and suicide. Check it out.

Okay, okay, the infographic…

Teen Depression Rawhide
  • Ricardo Ortiz September 3, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Hey Bill,

    Thanks for the information, I wonder if the statistics are the same here in Mexico. I work at an addictions and depression clinic and we have many patients with depression.



    • Chipur September 3, 2015, 7:56 pm

      Welcome, Ricardo – glad you stopped-by. Thank you! You know, I can’t imagine the statistics being radically different in your neck of the woods. I mean, I don’t know that there’s a spot-on match, but one would think it would be close. Keep up the good work at the clinic. Teenagers or adults – people need you…


  • Patricia Miller September 3, 2015, 9:14 pm

    This is a great infographic and the need to share this basic research is so critical. Working in the public schools for 25 years, and now working at a residential children’s home for the last two years, I can attest to the validity in just the practical, life aspects of face-to-face work with chldren and teenagers. Sure the kids will try to mask and medicate the symptoms with whatever they can find at hand. Maybe this will be the medications in the family medicine cabinet, or at friend’s homes. It can be the liquor stash at any accessible supply. Of course we always suspect the vision of the school drug dealer saying, ‘Pst, Buddy, wanna get high,` and that may be the way some of the kids I visit with become introduced to self-medication, but generally it is access to alcohol and medication at home or friend’s homes. Once they learn they can numb out, get a dash of relief, then the quest is on. If however they learn they can find help in other ways, then I know I can share some hope for relief from the depression.

    Some of the kids I work with will opt for self-harming behaviors to distract from the inner pain, or food controlling behaviors. I know that MANY of them clearly indicate there is BIG trouble in their inner world, if we will only listen, and after all, we are the grown ups and we have to do a better job than just telling them that of course the teen years are tough and every one feels picked on or like an outcast.

    Suicide is far too real for us to fail to take the signs of despair for granted. Teens are not usually awesomely successful at their suicide attempts, unless they have access to both alcohol and a firearm, and then the success rate goes way up. Sadly, suicide is only behind auto accidents in NM, my state, for death causes for those under the age of 24. OH. I take suicide prevention and intervention so seriously, and I am thankful for this infographic, thankful that the folks at Rawhide take it seriously, and thankful that you take it seriously too, Bill.

    • Chipur September 4, 2015, 9:58 am

      Hi Patricia! Thanks for stopping-by once again and contributing. Your vast experience in the public schools and residential children’s home gives you mucho credibility. I’m pleased to have your valuable info available to those who will visit down the road. No doubt, all of us need to “take it seriously.” Sooooooooo many lives at stake…


  • npeden September 16, 2015, 1:19 pm

    Hi Bill, as ususal, very timely. Oh, how I wish we had known these things when I was a teen, sawing at my wrists with broken mirror pieces…the info graphic is sad and awesome. May have to post this one to FaceBook.

    • Chipur September 16, 2015, 3:05 pm

      Yeah, I’m with you, Nancy. I freak when I think about how much sooner I’d have been able to put my life together had necessary (available now) resources been lurking about back then. Oh well. All so much water under the bridge. Appreciate your visit and contribution…