According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 11 percent of teenagers have experienced at least one depressive episode by the time they reach the age of eighteen years old. On a much wider scale, depression has been identified as the leading cause of disability in all individuals aged 15 to 44. Giving teenagers the tools to not only identify but to cope with depression could be a valuable asset in helping them improve the overall quality of their lives, says Peter Ventre – not just in their developmental years but beyond.
It is particularly concerning to mental health care professionals that there is still a widespread belief among many, teenagers included, that mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are largely believed to be an “adult” problem. Teenagers who present with depressive feelings are often told it is a normal aspect of being a teenager, and in some cases may even be denied the opportunity to explore their feelings or to receive help. Ventre Medical Associates, the clinic that Peter Ventre founded, deals with a wide range of patients, from juveniles to adults. Depression and other mental health concerns are just as serious in children and teenagers as they are in adults.