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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 09/04/08

Is my teenager depressed?

In the United States, depression is the most common mental health disorder. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races, and economic backgrounds. Depression is a serious problem that affects teenagers by negatively impacting their life if not diagnosed and treated properly. Statistics show that 1 in 8 adolescents may be suffering from depression. Unfortunately, 30 percent of those that experience the mental and emotional turmoil caused by depression are not properly treated. Untreated or ignored symptoms of depression can lead to cutting, severe psychological disorders such as manic depression, or even suicide.

In the Jewish Community

Although we would like to believe that all children have a happy-go-lucky childhood, the rate of depression in the Jewish Community quickly banishes that thought. Almost every Bais Yaakov girl knows someone who cuts themselves; high school principals can attest that this alarming trend is true. Although Jewish teens are aware that suicide is against the Torah, their severe depression blinds them from seeing anything else but their own intense pain. With added awareness, depression could be stopped before it becomes a more serious or life-threatening problem.

Use the following links to educate yourself about depression and its related disorders. Find out how to spot depression in your child, how to prevent it, and where to go for help.

Frequently Asked Links

What is depression?

What is SAD?

What is Bipolar Disorder? more

Why do some teens cut themselves?

How can my teen stop cutting?

How can I help my teen who cuts?

Why do some teens try to kill themselves? more

Why do people get depressed?

What can trigger depression?

What are some of the symptoms of teen depression?

What is the difference between a bad mood and depression?

Is my teenager depressed?

Can depression be inherited?

How can a teenager fight depression? more

Can depression be cured without medication?

Why are professionals so important in the treatment of depression?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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According to a disturbing new report from the CDC, the number of 10- to 24-year-olds killing themselves has reached staggering and disturbing proportions. It's important for parents to know the warning signs of suicide.

Taking Your Child to a Therapist

Kids, like adults, can often benefit from therapy – but there are many important things to consider as you look for the right therapist.


Jewish Mental Health Resources

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
SAVE offers information on suicide prevention. Call: (800) SUICIDE

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
This group is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of suicide and the ability to prevent it.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
This group is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of suicide and the ability to prevent it.

National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
NMHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans through advocacy, education, research, and service.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
The ADAA promotes the prevention and cure of anxiety disorders and works to improve the lives of all people who have them.

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