WATCH FOR DEPRESSION IN GIRLS WHO MATURE EARLY

The younger a girl is when she gets her period, the more likely she is to show symptoms of depression and antisocial behavior. That association lingers into adulthood, a new study finds, with grown women who started their periods early staying more depressed than their peers.

Parents and health care providers, be vigilant. If your daughter or patient seems moody or down on herself, don’t write it off as normal for her age. Here’s what the study lead had to say:

“It can be very easy for people to dismiss the emotional challenges that come along with growing up as a girl, and say, ‘Oh, it’s just that age; it’s what everyone goes through. But not everyone goes through it, and it’s not just ‘that age.’ And it’s not trivial. It puts these girls on a path from which it is hard to deviate.”

If your daughter goes through puberty early — and these days a third of girls have entered puberty by the age of 8 — watch her especially closely. Talk to her about how she’s feeling. Listen well. Help her to feel safe talking to you. Make sure her primary care provider screens her for depression at her annual check up.

Signs of depression to watch for include:

Our children shouldn’t have to deal with depression alone. Professionals can help. We don’t just throw pills at any sign of a problem, either. There are so many ways to take care of mental health, and we use all of them thoughtfully.

If you think your child might be struggling with depression, reach out for help. You will set them up for a better life.

Go here to read more about the connection between early puberty and psychological problems.

You Might Also Enjoy...

YOUTH AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

Suicides among teens ages 15-19 are the highest they’ve been since 2000, says a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Here’s a snippet from an NBC analysis of the study: The new study found that in 2017, 6,241 teenagers and adult

HOW TO FALL ASLEEP QUICKLY

This is second in a two-part series about sleep. Click here to read part one. Last week I wrote about how poor sleep can negatively affect your mental health. If you’re thinking, “It’s not my fault, I just can’t fall asleep at night!” then try this metho

HOW POOR SLEEP AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

I can’t stress this enough: part of managing your mental health includes getting enough sleep. I’ve written about this here before: in my career I’ve seen how poor sleep can lead to suicidal thoughts, memory issues, even weight gain. According to an artic

SOME ADHD MEDS INCREASE RISK OF PSYCHOSIS

New evidence is emerging that some medications for ADHD put teens and young adults at risk for developing psychosis. According to this study of more than 200,000 people ages 13 to 25, one out of 660 people had an episode of psychosis in a few months afte

SUMMER BREAK WITH YOUR HIGH-NEEDS CHILD

As thrilled as kids are with summer break, it can be difficult on parents to muster the same enthusiasm. You’re all out of your routine and it can take time to get used to a new schedule, and get used to each other. If you have a child with developmental

THE NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS

A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) makes a case for more mental health professionals–including nurses and social workers–in schools. From the report: School counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists are frequently