Ordinary words like “I’m feeling stressed” or “down” may signal mental health issues like depression when they’re used by teenagers. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that few teens use specific descriptive words like “depressed” even though 1 in 10 teens suffer from clinical levels of depression at some point in their teenage years (DeFrino et al., 2017).
The researchers studied interviews with 369 teens between 13 and 18 years of age. They were seeking to understand the language that teens use, and which terms signal serious mental health issues that may lie under the surface of normal teen anxiety.
Daniela DeFrino, PhD, RN, an assistant professor of research in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and College of Nursing, coauthored the study. She reports that teens experience “a lot of internal turmoil” and that if their caregivers aren’t sensitive to their language, they may not connect the dots and open a line of communication about serious underlying issues like depression and anxiety.
[For more of this story, written by Dawson Church, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...76d4e4b014ae8c69e17a]