• About 2% of school-aged children (i.e. children 6-12 years of age) appear to have a major depression at any one time. With puberty, the rate of depression increase to about 4% major depression overall. With adolescence, girls, for the first time, have a higher rate of depression than boys. This greater risk for depression in women persists for the rest of life. Depression is diagnosable before school age (e.g. ages 2-5) where it is somewhat more rare but definitely occurs. Overall, approximately 20% of youth will have one or more episodes of major depression by the time they become adults.

  • About 4% of teenagers have major depressive disorder (MDD) at any one time. Among teens, girls are more often affected than boys. MDD frequently interferes with home, school and family life, including causing a lot of family stress. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers, with about half of these associated with depression. This makes depression a common and serious illness that is important to identify and treat early in the course of the disease. To understand which treatments work best for which depressed teenagers, TADS is comparing different treatments for major depression in teens, with the goal of improving the treatment and outcomes of young persons with this disorder.

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