“I have a depressed 14-year-old daughter,” is becoming a dangerously common phrase. We’ve known for quite some time that depression in adolescence certainly isn’t a rare occurrence, but now it’s becoming painfully obvious that girls are especially at risk.

More and more research is confirming the disproportion between the genders when it comes to teenage depression–and we’re still struggling to understand why.

Study shows rate of depression much higher in girls

In a recent study conducted by the University of Liverpool and University College London, researchers found that nearly 1 in 4 girls were depressed at age 14 compared to 1 in 10 boys.

The study showed that typically families with higher incomes were less likely to have a depressed 14-year-old compared to poorer families. It was also found that depressive symptoms showed up at the same rate until the age 14, which is where symptoms became more prevalent in girls.

Lead author, Dr. Praveetha Patalay, explains the significance of this research:

“These stark findings provide evidence that mental health problems among girls rise sharply as they enter adolescence. And while further research using this rich data is needed to understand the causes and consequences of this, this study highlights the extent of mental health problems among young adolescents in the U.K. today.”

They believe that many issues lie in the parents underestimating their daughters’ mental health needs. In order to combat this, it’s important for both children and parents to speak openly about mental health–otherwise symptoms fly under the radar and issues worsen.

How to help your depressed 14-year-old daughter

As a parent–whether you believe it or not–you have a large amount of influence on the way your daughter thinks. Simply opening a discussion about mental health and how it affects us is a great place to start.

Don’t be forceful, just gain her opinion on how she feels about mental health. The insight can help you gain an understanding of her grasp on mental health and you can go forward from there.  

If you’ve been noticing symptoms of depression and believe you have a depressed 14-year-old, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for help. Hoping that this is just a phase and that it’ll fix itself often just leads to the problem growing worse. Early intervention is paramount to success.

Solstice East is here to help your daughter

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. We offer our students help for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about how we can help a depressed 14-year-old girl at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.