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美国:200万青少年受严重抑郁困扰

2009-01-20 09:3121色

  More than 2 million US teenagers have suffered a serious bout of depression in the past year, according to a federal government survey released on Tuesday.

  On average, 8.5 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 described having had a major depressive episode in the previous year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported.

  But there were "striking differences" by sex, with 12.7 percent of girls and 4.6 percent of boys affected.

  Depression is the leading cause of suicide, which in turn is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States.

  "Combined 2004 to 2006 data show that rates of past year major depressive episode among youths aged 12 to 17 generally increased with increasing age," the researchers wrote.

  Researchers at SAMHSA and RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, prepared the report using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

  More than 67,700 youths aged 12 to 17 answered questions about mood and depression.

  They were also asked to rate how depression affected them using the Sheehan Disability Scale, which measures impact on family, friends, chores at home, work and school.

  Researchers defined a major depressive episode as two weeks or longer of depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure,

  and at least four other symptoms such as problems with sleep, energy, concentration or self-image.

  Nearly half of the teenagers who had major depression said it severely impaired their ability to function in at least one of the areas on the disability scale.

  "Fortunately, depression responds very well to early intervention and treatment," SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline said in a statement.

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